EBOCS Project

The ultimate objective of EBOCS is to build and implement a pilot IT service that provides simplified and unified access to data on business ownership and control structures held in business registers across Europe. Counter Crime Agencies (CCAs) will be able to use the service to conduct analysis and investigations using existing software tools that are used to model, analyse and visualize relationships between people and businesses suspected of being involved in financial and other criminal activities.

EBOCS is a follow-up to the BOWNET project (http://www.transcrime.it/bownet) in that it aims to implement the recommendations on providing a support tool to improve the access to business ownership data held in business registers. In its first phase, EBOCS has provided real-time information services for financial analysis and investigation purposes, accessing only four business registers (Estonia, Italy, Latvia, Romania). The project has developed a proof of concept information network to provide simplified and unified access to BR data on business ownership and control structures. In the second phase, the EBOCS service was extended with the addition of a number of new registers (Ireland, Spain and UK ). A central visualisation tool was developed to allow CCAs to intelligently access the EBOCS information services.

The EBOCS Information Network provides CCAs with access to over 22 million searchable companies. This proof of concept validates the potential for EBOCS as a powerful asset for CCAs in the fight against financial crime. The EBOCS project provides real-time information services for financial analysis and investigation purposes thus increasing the level of transparency on legal entities available today.

The service will be capable of supporting queries such as 1) Get the ownership information for Company 123456 in register X. The response might include a list of owners and controlling officers with attributes such as name, address, date of birth and identification numbers or if the owner or officer is a company the attributes would include the registered name, status, address and number of the incorporating country and register. A list of relevant available documents that contain ownership and control structure data would also be provided for cases where structured data is not available 2) search for a company in a particular country/register or across Europe 3) search for companies linked to a person in a particular register or across Europe.

The objective of this third phase of the project is to further build upon the achievements made to date within EBOCS. In addition to extending the breadth and depth of access to business registry data, this phase is tasked with achieving active piloting across the target CCA end users to qualify and highlight the benefits of the EBOCS system.