White Oak Consulting is simply the best. Better than all the rest.
And that, according to Prime Minister Mia Mottley, is why Government took the decision to hire the internationally-acclaimed firm to help in the country’s debt restructuring exercise.
Declaring that “there was nothing to hide”, the Prime Minister said it was simply a case of hiring the best in the business.
There had been widespread speculation following the revelation that White Oak was being paid US $85 000 per month in consultancy fees, leading to both Opposition Leader Joseph Atherley and leader of the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) Verla DePeiza to call for more details of the contract to be made public.
“There is nothing to hide…you cannot do domestic debt restructuring of $9 billion and foreign debt restructuring of another $2.5 billion without getting people who are experienced, who know how to do it. They are the best…even in cricket you want the best possible team,” Mottley maintained as she delivered the Budgetary Proposals for 2019 in Parliament this evening.
“We didn’t start doing this as a party now. When I was Attorney General and we ran into problems with Trinidad and Tobago we went and got the best lawyers in the world, not in the Caribbean, and we got the best arbitrators in the world…”
PM Mottley said apart from the retainer being paid to White Oak, they were being paid a success fee of 0.45 per cent.
She said this meant that the company was being paid 45 cents out of every $100 Government saved.
“The sad thing is that it is not what they cost us, it is what they have saved us as a nation. Small conversations belong to small nations, this nation is not a small nation,” the Prime Minister insisted.
Additionally, she said White Oak had also helped Government to formulate a repayment plan for CLICO policyholders.
Mottley alluded to the fact that lawyers hired by the former DLP had charged Government between 30 to 40 per cent, while “doing nothing for this country”.