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Wanted to add that it was a great speech Michael; timely and thought-provoking.

And although TI's work in this field may not have developed sufficiently to be a candidate for carrying out Jeremy's idea, we would like to be kept in the loop if it develops further. 

Thanks, Johnny.  I did indeed see Tullow's example; it would be great if there was some kind of rating/certification system that would a) recognize Tullow's disclosures, and b) encourage other companies to follow suit.  It's also really good to hear that Open Oil might be interested in this - we should follow up.

that is a great idea. i also think given general downer on Big Oil which has been going for couple of decades at least and more general suspicion post-crash of Big Business everything, there could be real incentive to companies to get a good indicator... OpenOil would be delighted to get into that... did you all see latest annual report by Tullow, kind of prefiguring Dodd Frank with project level tax reporting? The CSR report was also quite detailed... numbers and specific environmental standards etc, not just waffle.

Thanks Jeremy!  This is a great idea: if EITI isn't ready to take this on, maybe someone else can.  Revenue Watch, PWYP, Global Witness, Oxfam, anyone?

Excellent speech/post Michael!  I've been team lead on five EITI validation missions, and it is frustrating how little companies have to contribute to the validation process, save for completing a near-meaningless form.  It's a shame that the EITI Board were not able to agree on mandatory contract transparency, which would have been a valuable step in the direction you are advocating for.  As an alternative to your suggestion of company validation/certification, there could be something similar to RWI's new Resource Governance Index  - an annual ranking of companies according to weighted transparency/accountability criteria (contracts, access to beneficial ownership info/use of offshore shells, quality of annual report, effective tax rates per country, quality of policy/guidelines on local content and community development etc).  This could be through EITI, or through another framework/platform, and needn't cost a lot.