EMSA Audit Makes Recommendations, But Found Nothing Illegal

Jan 22, 2013

Credit KWGS News photo

Read the audit: http://www.sai.ok.gov.

Oklahoma State Auditor Gary Jones releases the Special Investigative Audit requested last by year by the Emergency Medical Services Authority Board of Trustees.

The state audit looked at potential conflicts of interest between EMSA executives or staffl and various vendors, billing errors or collection practices, and assessed expenditures for economy and public purpose among other items.

“We took a close look at things with a view toward EMSA’s effectiveness and efficiency of operation,” said State Auditor Gary Jones. “Frankly, EMSA is a public entity that provides industry leading medical transport for people during critical life moments. It has also engaged in questionable, extravagant spending without regard for the public interest and its rate payers specifically.

These excessive, and we believe unwarranted, expenditures are the very thing that erode public trust because they do nothing to promote accountability.”

The audit report points to the fiscal responsibility of the EMSA Board of Trustees to ensure effective oversight and accountability of the public authority. The report also recommends the implementation of policies involving purchasing, expense reimbursement, and conflict of interest disclosure.

The audit cited the absence of such policies as resulting in the unintentional fostering of a culture of inappropriate spending  and a failure to report potential conflicts of interest to members of the board.

Here is EMSA's Response:

In response to the release of the Oklahoma State Auditor and Inspector’s audit final report today, EMSA is providing the following statement: “The audit, released this afternoon, was requested by the EMSA board, as part of our efforts in past months to improve the organization’s overall practices and policies,” said Lillian Perryman, chairwoman of the EMSA board. “We requested it because we wanted specific areas evaluated by a third party and look forward to seeing their recommendations. We are still reviewing the report and it will be discussed in detail in tomorrow’s board meeting. “The board and EMSA management must review the report and recommendations made by the State Auditor in detail and make decisions based on what is best for the citizens of the communities served by EMSA. What we do with the information is the critical piece of the audit process and we will be committed to improving organizational practices. The quality of care delivered by our service to our citizens in the Tulsa and Oklahoma City areas is excellent and has never been called into question.     “Any recommendations will be evaluated and acted upon rapidly in the next few months, as appropriate. All of this discussion will happen in open, public meetings at board and committee meetings.” As noted in the statement above, the topic will be discussed tomorrow at EMSA’s regularly scheduled, open board meeting.