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Sunday 19 August 2018
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US$300,000 paid to lobbyist

FINANCE Minister Colm Imbert on Wednesday said a total of US$300,000 has been paid to the American consultancy firm, The DC Group, hired on December 23, 2015 by the Government.

Imbert, who is also acting Prime Minister, gave this answer in response to a question from Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal in the House of Representatives.

Imbert said Cabinet decided to hire the firm and the process was done through sole selective tendering.

He said the terms of reference of the firm could be found on the US Department of Justice’s website and provided the link at which it could be found. In response to further questions from Moonilal, Imbert said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley has spoken on this issue at length in Parliament. According to the October 2016 agreement which outlines the terms of the firm’s engagement, collaboration with the Government to deal with TT citizens recruited as foreign terrorist fighters with the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS/ISIL); assisting Government’s efforts to diversify the economy and increasing this country’s profile amongst leading figures in the United States Senate and House of Representatives, are some of the initiatives the DC Group will be undertaking on the Government’s behalf.

Speaking in the House on March 6, Rowley said it was necessary to hire this firm because “certain behaviours” of the former People’s Partnership administration, “put TT in a very bad situation with our largest trading partner (US).”

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