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Auditor Finds Poor Money Handling at Austin-Travis Co. EMS (Updated)

EMS - Travis County Ambulance - Near St David - By Daniel Reese - 01.jpg
Daniel Reese for KUT News

*Updated to include response from Austin-Travis Co. EMS

Austin’s City Auditor says billing collection processes at Austin-Travis County EMS are so poor that the department is at risk of having money stolen or bills miscalculated and not even realizing it.

A report by the Auditor’s office says EMS does not comply with the city’s cash handling policy and isn’t taking measures to ensure the department is depositing all the revenue it receives.

In one instance, the Auditor’s office found more than $200,000 dollars in undeposited collections stored in an open and unattended plastic storage container.

James Shamard is the Chief of Staff with Austin-Travis County EMS. He says the audit served its purpose in identifying loopholes that need to be fixed.

"We’ve either already gone back and made those changes or we’re in the process of making those process changes as we speak," Shamard says. "And, again, most of them are very small adjustments. Little things like making sure that that safe isn’t open until the armored car personnel arrives. That no one person can even open it, that it takes two unique codes to do that.”

Shamard says the department expects to be fully compliant with the auditor’s recommendations before the end of the month.

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