Even as the governor’s office was imposing travel and spending freezes as the state continued to struggle with an overwhelming budget deficit last fall, the Office of Group Benefits (OGB) was spending nearly $9,600 to send two of its top executives on five separate trips to California and Florida to train new phone bank employees to handle inquiries about pending changes to health coverage for state employees, retirees and dependents.
The expenditures also occurred in the wake of Gov. Bobby’s depletion of the OGB reserve fund from $500 million before privatization of the agency to less than half of that by last September.
A Division of Administration (DOA) employee with close ties to Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols and Deputy Commissioner Ruth Johnson revealed to LouisianaVoice last year that DOA had contracted with Ansafone which has offices to set up the phone bank to take calls from OGB members.
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