Georgia News

New office supplies contract with Staples set to save the state an estimated 17%

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After weighing the business needs and feedback of State administrative and financial managers, Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services (DOAS) has announced a new statewide contract for general office supplies, paper and toner with Staples Contract and Commercial, Inc. Based on the State’s analysis of over 900 of its most frequently purchased office supply items, the new contract is estimated to save state and local entities 17% on average, compared to the State’s previous office supply contracts.

All state, city, county, and K-12 public entities can take advantage of the discounts and other benefits of this statewide contract. State and local employees will experience faster, easier and friendlier service with the following statewide contract benefits:

  • The ability to order office supplies via Team Georgia Marketplace™, P-card Marketplace™, StaplesAdvantage.com, Phone, or Fax
  • Free next-day business delivery
  • Access to over 50,000 office supplies items
  • State contract pricing available in Staples retail stores for same day purchases
  • Efficient return process for all “non-custom” items
  • Discounts up to 75 percent off list price
  • Green-based products
  • End-user training
  • Staples account management

State employees can use purchasing cards (P-Cards) to conduct simple, secure, and cost-effective orders through the state’s enterprise eProcurement system: Team Georgia Marketplace™. Local Georgia government entities can place orders through the state’s P-Card Marketplace™ or StaplesAdvantage.com, Staples’ official online ordering platform. State issued P-Card holders may also take advantage of contract pricing by visiting Staples’ vast network of retail locations.

About DOAS:
DOAS provides business solutions to Georgia’s state and local governments, suppliers, nonprofit organizations and the general public. The State Purchasing Division of DOAS serves as the centralized procurement function for state of Georgia government entities. Statewide contracts are established by State Purchasing for the benefit of government entities throughout Georgia. By leveraging statewide purchasing power, a variety of high-quality goods and services are provided conveniently at below-market rates.

Office Supply Contract inquiries can be sent to Marcus Rahming, Associate Category Manager: marcus.rahming@doas.ga.gov

Georgia Department of Community Health Awards Health Plan Contracts

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The Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) has announced the additional vendors for the state’s health care coverage for state employees, teachers, school system employees, retirees and dependents during the 2015 Plan Year, which begins on January 1, 2015. Vendors were selected following the Invitation for Proposal (IFP) process, which began in April 2014.

United HealthCare has been selected to offer SHBP members the option of a statewide HMO, a statewide High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and a statewide Medicare Advantage option for retirees. Kaiser Permanente has been selected to offer SHBP members a fully insured, in-network-only plan in the metro Atlanta service area. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia (BCBSGa) remains a vendor for 2015 and will offer SHBP members the options one of three traditional Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) options (Gold, Silver or Bronze), statewide Medicare Advantage to retirees, and a statewide HMO option.

The current Pharmacy Benefit Manager (PBM) contract with Express Scripts Inc. and the current Wellness contract with Healthways Inc. will be renewed for the 2015 plan year.

“The Department of Community Health has provided plan members with more new choices to find the health care plan that’s best for their families. We appreciate the cooperation of Blue Cross Blue Shield on contractual issues so that we can expand the number of options available to plan members,” said Governor Nathan Deal.

“We heard and listened to our members and providers concerns regarding the 2014 plan choices. We have worked to provide short-term relief this year. Today we announce the plan will offer more vendor and insurance option choices in the upcoming year. I am confident this enhanced package will benefit our members and plan providers around the state,” said DCH Commissioner Clyde L. Reese III, Esq.

SHBP is currently working to finalize the 2015 plan designs and 2015 premiums. As in previous years, the new plan designs and premiums will be presented to and voted on by the Board of Community Health in August 2014.

SHBP will conduct in-person and online member outreach and education on members’ plan options prior to and during the state’s Open Enrollment and Retiree Change Option Period. As information is developed, SHBP members can expect to receive information from their payroll location and made available online at: www.dch.georgia.gov/shbp.

Open Enrollment will be held October 27 – November 14, 2014, for the January 1, 2015, start date of the new plan year.

About the Georgia Department of Community Health

Through effective planning, purchasing and oversight, the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) provides access to affordable, quality health care to millions of Georgians, including some of the state’s uninsured and most vulnerable populations.

DCH is responsible for Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids,® the State Health Benefit Plan, Healthcare Facility Regulation and Health Information Technology in Georgia.

Clyde L. Reese III, Esq., serves as Commissioner for the Georgia Department of Community Health.

To learn more about DCH and its dedication to A Healthy Georgia, visit www.dch.georgia.gov.

Georgia Tourism Launches New Vacation and Travel Planning Website

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Just in time for Independence Day, Georgia Tourism, a division of the Georgia Department of Economic Development, has launched the state’s newly redesigned tourism website. ExploreGeorgia.org now offers visitors fresh custom features including the new Georgia Trip Planner, shareable trip ideas, interactive maps and much more.

“ExploreGeorgia.org is now loaded with new technology like Smart Content, which will help deliver the right content to the right potential visitor at the right time, providing users with exactly what they are looking for,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The responsive design gives it an effortless and seamless transition between computers, smartphones and tablets.”

The enhancements made to ExploreGeorgia.org focus on all aspects of the consumer’s travel decision-making process. The site offers inspirational content for planning and booking to sharing trip ideas on social media. One key component of the new site is the ability to create a shareable itinerary by adding tourism sites to the new Georgia Explorer Trip Planner. The Georgia Explorer Trip Planner provides visitors with a customized approach to exploring the website by organizing and mapping out the things they want to see and do in Georgia.

At the heart of the site is new engaging content with featured articles, itineraries, top-ten lists, must-see attractions, and the Explore Georgia blog. Not only will visitors find information about iconic Georgia destinations, attractions, accommodations and events, but the brand new easy-to-navigate website also features:

  • Slide shows and image galleries
  • interactive maps
  • travel deals and packages
  • trip ideas
  • a complete list of dining options

Additions to the site create greater exposure for the state’s thousands of tourism partners – making it easy for potential travelers to find and access tourism partners’ profile pages where they can find directions through Google Maps, nearby attractions, information and amenities, and deals all in one location. For the first time ever, Georgia Tourism partnered with the Georgia Restaurant Association (GRA) to incorporate the association’s complete list of restaurants on the state’s tourism website.

ExploreGeorgia.org is Georgia Tourism’s main marketing tool in distributing travel information to visitors throughout the world. The advanced functionality and new design incorporates inspirational content encouraging visitors to plan their next vacation in Georgia.

About GDEcD

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is the state’s sales and marketing arm, the lead agency for attracting new business investment, encouraging the expansion of existing industry and small businesses, locating new markets for Georgia products, attracting tourists to Georgia, and promoting the state as a destination for arts events and location for film, music and digital entertainment projects, as well as planning and mobilizing state resources for economic development. www.georgia.org