We indeed took a long and deep breath…
After we wrote here perhaps a bit gloomy post with a rhetorical question in its title: “Dark clouds over the LEI system?” we engaged ourselves in two fundamental activities:
- the technical and business-oriented improvements of our portal and
- a deep research aimed at finding ideas for improvements of the LEI system.
In the first activity, we have built an entirely new application for LEI registration, advertisement on the platform and for the access to more in-depth data about companies. We entered into active cooperation with Bloomberg and restarted acceptance of new LEI registration requests in the context of our “RA” (Registration Agent) role in the system. We have also launched production version of GraphChain that allows for Blockchain-based validation of data on the LEI system.
In the second activity, we started building the foundations for future Digital Identification system for companies that will improve the existing LEI system making it truly foundational and infrastructural.
There are perhaps many reasons why the current LEI system is not quite foundational or infrastructural. Just for a reminder: Foundational systems are intended primarily to provide identity as a public good, not to supply a specific service. While the LEI system could in principle be used in multiple contexts, its reason for existence is a very specific service: identification of legal entities for regulators who monitor financial transactions. On the other hand: Infrastructural systems can be repurposed for similar projects and are compatible with existing local systems. As we know, the LEI system is not easy to be repurposed. Its rigid CDF Reference file format does not easily allow for changes and modifications leading to the compatibility with existing systems. (Both definitions, it italics were borrowed from USAID paper: “Identity in A Digital Age: Infrastructure for Inclusive Development“).
At this stage, we did not yet finish study and research. We are also not sure if we really can contribute to such a great and serious challenge. Well, we can contribute – the question is whether our voice will be heard…
Meanwhile, we have delivered our comments for White House OMB Federal Data Strategy public forum related to LEI system. See the separated post on that thread.
We will be updating you on that action shortly. Stay tuned….