PM Ivanishvili’s government has extended contract with an influential Washington lobbying and law firm, Patton Boggs, till the end of this year and in addition also broadened scope of services by adding a new provision to the contract envisaging hiring of a media consultant, causing an increase of monthly payment to USD 110,000.
According to original six-month contract, which expired this month, Patton Boggs was providing assistance to the Georgian government “with respect to supporting NATO aspirations, communicating with the U.S. Government and Congress, supporting relations with media and opinion makers, facilitate arrangement of relevant events and meetings and educating U.S. about developments in Georgia.”
Addendum to this original contract, which is valid from August 15, keeps these services in place, but also adds new provision according to which Patton Boggs will hire “a media consultant” to help “increase general support to Georgia within political and civil leadership in U.S.; increase media coverage, with a focus on foreign policy and political media outlets, produce and place media material for publication; support Georgian Embassy initiatives; engage new audiences and media outlets that have not been engaged in Georgia-related discussions.”
Under the new provision the government is paying Patton Boggs USD 110,000 per month instead of USD 90,000, which was envisaged by the original contract, according to filings submitted by the firm to the U.S. Department of Justice under the Foreign Agent Registration Act.
In 2012 when Patton Boggs was hired personally by Ivanishvili, the firm was charging Georgian Dream leader with USD 160,000 per month. Patton Boggs was among those several lobbying and consultancy firms, which were providing services to Ivanishvili last year when he and his GD coalition were engaged in election campaign.
President Saakashvili’s administration has a ten-month contract worth USD 200,000 with consultant Gregory Maniatis of Ithaca Group “as a government relations and communications consultant in the United States”; the contract expires on October 31, 2013.
In March the Georgian government made public its six-month contract with Brussels-based public affairs and government relations consultancy Cambre Associates, according to which the firm was charging the government with EUR 40,000 per month.