RDC : La CENI reconnaît un contrat avec la firme dirigée par un proche de Trump, mais rejette les allégations sur le lobbying

RDC : La CENI reconnaît un contrat avec la firme dirigée par un proche de Trump, mais rejette les allégations sur le lobbying

La Commission Électorale Nationale Indépendante (CENI) reconnaît avoir signé un contrat avec le cabinet américain Avenue Strategies Global pour, dit-elle, renforcer sa communication et non pour le lobbying.

« La CENI a, en effet, signé un contrat avec Avenue Strategies Global et c’est depuis 2016 qu’elle recourt à l’appui des agences de relations publiques (qui n’ont rien à avoir avec le lobbying) pour renforcer sa communication. La CENI a également des agences RP à Kinshasa », a dit Marie-France Idikayi, chargée de communication de Corneille Nangaa.

Ce contrat qui fait le tour du web révèle que la CENI s’est engagée à payer mensuellement 19 000 USD à ce cabinet.

Plusieurs questions sont posées par les internautes sur les lignes budgétaires à partir desquelles ces dépenses sont effectuées.

Avenue Strategies Global se spécialise en plaidoyer, conseil stratégique, communications et relations publiques, ainsi que gestion de crise.

Cette firme a travaillé au profit des grands intérêts auprès de l’administration Trump. C’est elle qui travaille pour l’Ukrainienne Ioulia Tymochenko qui a annoncé sa candidature à la présidentielle de 2019.

Pbrowning02@pbrowning02

Barry Bennett’s firm Avenue Strategies Global LLC will provide government relations, public relations and strategic consulting services, including making contacts with members of the Trump administration and Congress, on behalf of Yulia Tymoshenko,

Bloomberg Politics

@bpolitics

Former Trump adviser lobbying for former Ukrainian PM Yulia Tymoshenko https://bloom.bg/2IsDefF 

Voir l'image sur Twitter

Sur son site internet, Avenue Strategies revendique « un ancrage au Congrès américain, au sein du pouvoir exécutif, au Conseil national de sécurité de la Maison-Blanche, au Département d’État américain et auprès des représentants américains aux affaires commerciales« . Le cabinet affirme également que les membres de son équipe ont occupé des postes de direction dans le secteur privé et comprennent l’importance de respecter les intérêts des actionnaires, des clients et des autres intervenants externes.

« Chez Avenue Strategies, nous comprenons ce qu’il faut pour naviguer dans le paysage politique et politique difficile. Et lorsque les gouvernements sont en transition, les connaissances, l’expérience et l’exécution de notre équipe apportent de solides résultats. Avec des bureaux à Washington, D.C., New York, Atlanta et Portland, Oregon, notre équipe apporte des décennies d’expérience à des postes de direction au sein de l’exécutif américain, du Congrès, des gouvernements des États, des gouvernements étrangers et du secteur privé. Nous créons des stratégies personnalisées et mettons en œuvre des campagnes efficaces en votre nom », explique la firme sur sa plaquette de présentation.

Fondée à la fin de 2016, Avenue Strategies est dirigée par Barry Bennett. Actif dans la politique depuis 30 ans, Barry a récemment été conseiller principal de la campagne Donald Trump. Au début du cycle électoral de 2016, il a dirigé la campagne du Dr Ben Carson. Auparavant, Barry avait servi les George W. Bush en tant que directeur des communications au G-8.

Voici le texte du contrat:

Received by NSD/FARA Registration Unit    06/01/2018 4:16:52 PM

CONSULTINGAGREEM NT_

 THIS CONSULTING AGREEMENT (the « Agreement »)

dated this 30th day of May, 2018 BY AND BETWEEN:

CoIIlIIlission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI) (the « Client »)

-AND-

Avenue Strategies Global, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, 1627 I Street NW Suite 1110, Washington, D.C., 20006

(the « Contractor »).

BACKGROUND:

  • – The Client is of the opinion that the Contractor has the necessary qualifications, experience and abilities to provide services to the Client.
  1. The Contractor is agreeable to providing such services to the Client on the tetms and conditions set out in this Agreement.

IN CONSIDERATION OF the matters described above and of the mutual benefits and obligations set.forth in this Agreement, the receipt and sufficiency of which consideration is hereby acknowledged, . the Client and the Contractor (individually the « Party » and collectiv:ely the « Parties » to this Agreement) agree as follows:

Services Provided

I. The Client hereby agrees to engage the Contractor t _provide the Client

with services as set forth on Exhibit A (the « Services »)

2.·      The Services will also include any other tasks which the Parties may agree on. The Contractor hereby agrees to provide such Services to the Client.

The Contractor may from time to time engage others (at no cost or expense

to the Client) ,to assist in providing the Services and the Client

/Received  by NSD/FARA Registration Unit    06/01/2018 4:16:52 PM

Consu/#ng Agreement                                                                                                                      Page 2 of 10

acknowledges and agrees to such third-party involveJl}ent as Contractor

. may deem reasonable and necessary. Contractor and its representatives

  • and subcontrac ors providing services on ts behalf hereunder will devote substantial tiI11e, but not full time, to.this ertgagement. Client understands and acknowledges that Contractor and such representatives and subcontractor have and will continue to have other engagements during the term of this Agreement.

Term of Agreement

  1. The term of this Agreement (the « Term ») will begin on June 6, 2018 and will remain in full force and effect until October 6, 2018. The Term of this Agreement may be extended with the written consent of the

Performance

  1. The Parties agree to do everything reasonably necessary n<i appropriate consistent with standard industry practice to ensure that the terms of this Agreement take effect.

Currency

  1. Except as otherwise provided in this Agreement, all monetary amounts referred to in this Agreement are in USO (US Dollars).

Compensation

  1. For the servi es rendered by the Contractor as required by this Agreement, the Client will provide comp·ensation (the « Compensation ») to the Contractor of

$19,000 per month.

7.            A deposit of $38,000 (the  »Deposit ») will be payable by the Client simultaneously with the execution and delivery hereof, a signed Agreement. · All invoices are to.be paid in full upon receipt.

  1. After the initiaJ deposit, payments are to be made in full on the first @y of every month until the contract is ·

Reimbursement of Expenses

  1. The Contractor will be reimbursed for reasonable and n cessary expenses incurred by the Contractor in connection with providing the Services under this Agreement, upon presentation of appropriate documentationo-4

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                     Page 3 oflO

therefore.    All expenses, including any travel expenses, need to be pre-approved by the Client.

Io.    All incurred expenses Will be reimbursed by Client within fifteen (15) days of Client’s receipt of invoices therefor. Expenses may include, but not be limited to, transportation, lodging and meals.

Confidentiality

I I. This is a confidential engagement. The Contractor agrees to obtain prior, written consent from the Client before disclosing Client as a client of the Contractor. This includes but is not limited to inclusion of Client on Contractor’s cJient lists, marketing materials, press materials or websites. which are publicly available.

  1. The tenn « Confidential Information » means any nonpublic, confidential, or proprietary information given in any medium, whether or not identified or marked as « Confidential » or with any similar legend, including but not ltmited to all customer or consumer information, as well as any material prepared by the Recipient and its representatives that contains or reflects such information. The term « Recipient » means the party to whom the Confidential Information is
  2. Each Recipient shall permit access to the Confidential Information of the other Party only to the Recipient’s Personnel who have (a) a need  to know the Confidential Information and (b) agreed to provide physical
    • and virtual protections as least as restrictive as those required by this

Agreement and by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The Recipient shall comply with all federal, state, and local laws, rules, regulations, and ordin ces governing or relating to privacy rights in connection with its perfortnance under this Agreement including; without limitation, the Gramm,.Leach-Bliley Act.

  1. Each Recipient agrees that it will hold in strict confidence and not disclose any Confidential Information of the other Party for any purpose whatsoever, except as allowed by this
  2. Notwithstanding the restrictions in this Agreement, a Recipient’s disclosure of Confidential Information-in response to a valid order by a court or governmental body is not a -yiolatiol) of this Agreement, provided that (if legally permitted) the Recipient provides the o er Party )-\
  • Consulting Agreement Page 5 of 10

compqter records or files containing Confidential Information which

. h ve. been created pursuant to automa ic archiving and back-up procedures and such archives and/or backups are not accessible during the ordinary course of business. Customer or consumer information shall be destroyed by . a method that ensures it is always protected from unauthorized disclosure. Confidential Information disposed of in the regular course of business shall be securely destroyed and, where applicable, in accordance with the Disposal of Consumer Information provision of the FACT Act.

  1. All Confidentilll Information of the disclosing Party is and shall remain the property of the disclosing party. By disclosing the Confidential Information to the. Recipient, the disclosing party does not grant any express or implied rights or license to the

  • Ownership of Intellectual Property
    Each Party agrees that the other Party is entitled to seek injunctive relief fQr a Breach and other relief as may be granted· by a court with jurisdiction. The Recipient agrees to defend, indemnify, and .hold ha:nttless the other Party and its Personnel from any and all third party claims, demands, liabilities, costs and expenses, including reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses resulting from the Recipient’s material breach of this Agreement.
  1. AH intellectual property and related material, including any trade secrets, moral rights, goodwill, relevant registrations or applications for registration, and rights in any patent, copyright, trademark, trade dress, industrial design 8:f1d trade name (the « Intellectual Property ») that is developed or produced under this Agreement, is a « work made for hire » and will be the. sole property of the Client. The use of the Intellectual Property by the Client will not be restricted in any . .
  • The Contractor may not use the Intellectual Property for any purpose· other than performing its duties pursuant to this Agreement except.J.. with the written consent of the ·

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                     Page 6 oflO

Return of Property

  1. Upon the expiry or termination of this Agreement, the Contractor will return to the Client ny property, documentation, records, or Confidtmtial Information which is the property of the Client.

Reliance on Client’s Information

  1. Client acknowledges and agrees that Contractor, .in performance of its duties under this Agreement, will be relying on the truth, completeness and accuracy of the written documentation delivered and the verbal communication made by Client and its agents to Contractor and its agents

.in connection with . any arid all matters relating to Contractor’s engagement hereunder.

Capacity/Independent Contractor

  1. In providing the Services under this Agreement it is expressly agreed that the Contractor is acting as an independent contractor and not as·an ihe       Contractor and the Client acknowledge that this . Agreement does not create a partnership or joint venture between them; and is exclusively a contract for service. The Client is not required to pay, or make any contributions to, any sochd security, local, state or federal tax, unemployment compensation, workers’ compensation, insurance premium, profit-sharing, pension or any other employee benefit for the Contractor during the Term. The Contractor is responsible for paying, and complying with reporting requirements for, all local, state and federal

. truces related to payments made to the Contractor under this Agreement.

Notice

  1. All notices, requests, demands or other communications required or permitted by the terms of this Agreement will be given in writing and delivered to the Parties of this Agreement as follows:
    1. Commission Electorale Nationale Independante (CENI)
  1. Avenue Strategies Global, LLC

1627 I Street NW Suite 1110, Washington, District of Columbia, 20006

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                     Page 7 of 10

or to such other address as any Party may from time to time notify the other,­ and will be deemed to be properly delivered (a) immediately upon being served person_ally, (b) two days after being deposited with the postal service if served by registered mail, or(c) the following day after being deposited  with an overnight courier.

Indemnification

  1. Except to the extent paid in settlement from any applicable insurance policies, and to the extent permitted by applicable law, each Party agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the other Party, and its respective directors, stockbolders, affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and permitted successors and assigns against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities, penalties, punitive damages, expenses, reasonable legal fees and costs of any kind or amount whatsoever, which result from or arise out of any act or omission of the indemnifying party, its respective directors, stockholders, affiliates, officers, agents, employees, and permitted successors and assigns that occurs in connectfon with th.is Agreement. This indemnification will survive the termination of this Agreement

Modification of Agreement

  1. Any amendment or modification of this Agreement or additional ob-ligation assumed by either Party in connection with this Agreement will only be

. binding if evidenced in writing signed by each Party or art authorized representative of each Party.

Time of the Essence

  1. Time is of the essence in this Agreement. No extension or  variation of this ‘ Agreement will operate as a waiver of this

Assignmen

  1. The Contractor will not vohmtarily, or by operation oflaw, assign or otherwise transfer its obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the

Entire Agreement

  1. It is agreed that there is no representation,-warranty, collateral agreement or condition affecting this Agreement except as expressly  provided in this                                             , Agreement and Exhibit A hereto.                                                                                     ·

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                     Page 8 of 10

Enurement

  • . · This Agreement wiU enure to the. benefit of and be binding on the Parties a,nd their respective heirs, executors, administrators and permitted successors and assigns.

Titles/Headings

  1. Headings are inserted for the convenience of the Parties only and are not to be considered when interpreting this

Gender

  1. Words in the singular mean and include the plural and vice Words in the masculine mean and include tbe feminine and vice versa.

Governing Law

  • It is the intention of the Parties to this Agreement that this Agreement and the perfonnance under this Agreement, and all suits and special proce dings ll!lder this Agreement, be· construed in accordance with and governed, to the exclusion of the law of any other forum, by the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, without regard to ‘the jurisdiction in which any action or special proceeding y be instituted.

Severability

  1. In the event that any ofthe provisions of this Agreement  are held  to be invalid or unenforceable in whole or in part, all other provisions will nevertheless continue to be valid and enforceable with the invalid or unenforceable parts . severed from the remainder of this

Waiver

  1. .The waiver by either Party of a breach, default, delay or omis ion of arty of the provisions of this Agreement by the other Party will not be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach of the same or other

Termination

  1. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time with 30-days written notice. In such event, Clienfshall be obligated to pay Contractor any unpaid and undisputed amounts due for Services rendered through the date of the termination. Further, Client agrees to forfeit the remaining balance of the

 

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                      Page 9 of 10

 

deposit in the event that the Agreement is terminated before the end of the two-month period covered by the deposit.

Conflicts of Interest

39. Contractor agrees that it will avoid activities, investments or other situations which may conflict with its duties to Client as described herein. In providing services under this Agreement, the Contractor agrees that, as of this date, the Contractor does not represent any client whose interest is currently adverse to the interest of the Client. The Contractor further agrees that if, during the term of this Agreement, it determines that a client represented by Contractor either

i) has or may potentially have an interest adverse to the  interest of the Client, or ii) is a competitor of Client, the Contractor shall immediately disclose such conflict of interest. Upon receipt of the disclosure, the Client, at its sole discretion, shall take any appropriate action, up to and including termination of this Agreement without penalty.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the Parties have duly affixed their signatures under hand and seal on this 6th day of June, 2018.

Commission Electorate Nationale Independante (CENI)

B

Its:

(“Client”)

(“Contractor”)

Consulting Agreement                                                                                                                   Page 10 of 10

Exhibit A

Services

Strategic Communications Consulting and Public Relations.

Check Appropriiite Bo.x: .