Georgia, Tbilisi, Aug. 22 /Trend N.Kirtzkhalia/
The government of Georgian and Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili extended a contract with the Washington based influential lobbyist and law company Patton Boggs until late 2013, as well as expanded the range of services adding a new paragraph in the contract that envisages the hiring of a media consultant.
According to the updated contract, Patton Boggs will receive a fee increased to $110,000 as a bonus, Georgian outlets reported.
Previously, the original contract provided for the payment of a $90,000 fee according to the documentation that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Justice.
According to the initial six-month contract which expired this month, Patton Boggs was helping the Georgian government 'from the point of view of aspiration to join NATO, as well as in relations with the U.S. government and Congress, in relations with media outlets and those involved in shaping public opinion, in the organisation of related events and meetings, as well as informing the United States about events in Georgia'.
These requirements were transferred to the extended contract which remained unchanged and came into the force in August 15.
However, according to the new term added to the contract, Patton Boggs will hire a media consultant to provide such additional services as increasing popular support for Georgia among the political and social leaders of the United States; strengthening media coverage and focusing on foreign policy and media tools for political direction, preparation of media materials and placement for publication, supporting the initiatives of Georgian Embassy, attract new audiences and those media outlets that have not been involved in discussions related to Georgia.
Patton Boggs was hired personally by Bidzina Ivanishvili in 2012. The company was among those lobbyist and consulting companies providing services to Ivanishvili last year when he and his Georgian Dream coalition took part in the election campaign.
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's administration signed a 10-month contract worth $200,000 with the US based consultant "on issues of relationship and communication with the government," Gregory Maniatis from Ithaca Group said.
The contract's term expires on October 31, 2013.
In March the Georgian government issued a six-month contract signed with the Brussels based lobbyist and consulting company Cambre Associates.