Annex A. Assessments carried out under the Staged Approach

In recognition that not all requirements of the AEOI Standard could be reviewed once exchanges take place, the Global Forum put in place a “Staged Approach” to monitor, assess and assist in the implementation of the AEOI Standard while it is being implemented.

Staging the assessments meant that issues across all key areas of the implementation of the AEOI Standard could be identified, even prior to exchanges taking place. This approach was chosen to help ensure effective implementation from the start.

The diagram below depicts each module of the Staged Approach, including the timings with respect to the jurisdictions committed to commence exchanges from 2017 or 2018. The individual modules are described in more detail below.

1. Commitments and monitoring implementation: Implementation milestones are tracked with jurisdictions providing regular updates to the Global Forum on their progress. This also allows the identification of assistance needs, on domestic legislation, international agreements, information technology systems and administrative infrastructure. The results of this process have been used to provide regular internal monitoring reports to Global Forum members and to the G20, as well as to produce this report.

2. Expert confidentiality and data safeguard assessments: Legal and operational frameworks must be in place to keep the information exchanged confidential and properly safeguarded. An expert panel from member jurisdictions conduct pre-exchange assessments to ensure jurisdictions meet the confidentiality and data safeguard requirements, prior to them exchanging information. The Global Forum provides assistance where issues are identified. Post-exchange reviews, including of the operational frameworks actually used for the exchanges, are also conducted to provide assurance that the requirements continue to be met.

3. Legislative assessments, including low-risk lists: Legislation is also needed to ensure Reporting Financial Institutions conduct the required due diligence and reporting procedures, including a framework for enforcement. Each jurisdiction’s domestic legislative framework is therefore peer reviewed once it is put in place (i.e. even before exchanges commence). This includes a legislative gap analysis to ensure all of the key elements of the AEOI Standard are incorporated and an assessment of each jurisdiction’s lists of Non-Reporting Financial Institutions and Excluded Accounts to ensure their conformity with the AEOI Standard. Where gaps are found, recommendations are made.

4. Ensuring networks include interested appropriate partners: Monitoring the exchange agreements being put in place is also a key component of the monitoring and review processes. This ensures the delivery by each jurisdiction of its commitment to exchange information with “all Interested Appropriate Partners”. Where a jurisdiction is concerned about delays to the putting in place of a particular exchange agreement it can trigger a peer review of the situation.

5. Compliance with the technical exchange requirements: Ultimately, jurisdictions must collect the actual information from the Reporting Financial Institutions and exchange it. Each jurisdiction’s technical readiness to exchange is therefore also monitored.

Technical assistance: Bringing together all jurisdictions on the basis of a level playing field, including ensuring developing countries can access the benefits the AEOI Standard has to offer, requires support. The Global Forum therefore provides technical assistance throughout the commitment and implementation process.

Reviews of the effectiveness of the implementation of the AEOI Standard: Lastly, it must be ensured that the implementation of the AEOI Standard is effective in practice, including that jurisdictions are ensuring that Reporting Financial Institutions are effectively implementing the requirements. With exchanges now fully underway, and with the publication of the conclusions with respect to the legal framework, the peer reviews with respect to the effectiveness of the implementation of the AEOI Standard in practice are commencing. These are due to conclude in 2022.

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