Share “EMSA board chairwoman said Oklahoma...”

EMSA board chairwoman said Oklahoma ambulance service is 'on the right track'

New management practices and better oversight by the ambulance service's board of trustees will help ensure EMSA is complying with state law and its code of conduct in the wake of a highly critical state audit, said Lillian Perryman, chairwoman of the Oklahoma authority's board of trustees.
BY ZEKE CAMPFIELD Published: February 23, 2013

The chairwoman of the board that oversees the state's largest ambulance service said its managers are “on the right track” to fix discrepancies outlined in a highly critical state audit.

Lillian Perryman said both management and the board of directors that oversees operations of Emergency Medical Services Authority are making significant strides to ensure the authority spends its money and resources in the most cost-effective — and legal — way possible.

“In my own opinion, we've had many good years of good leadership,” Perryman said Friday. “Are there things that weren't done probably as well as they should have been? Very possibly so. I don't think there was any upfront purpose to do anything wrong.”

The authority, also known as EMSA, is a public trust authority of Oklahoma City and Tulsa and provides ambulance service to more than 1 million Oklahomans in those cities and surrounding areas.

A state audit released in January said lax policies and procedures by management and the authority's board may have led to thousands of dollars in inappropriate spending by its chief executive officer, Stephen Williamson.

Williamson's business decisions, some made without board knowledge, may have violated the authority's code of conduct, but no illegal spending was uncovered, according to the audit.

Management response to the audit was provided to The Oklahoman on Friday, and Perryman said they will be going over each of the audit's findings and recommendations at a meeting Wednesday in Stroud.

Perryman said the board will develop oversight committees in finance, ethics and personnel and that she is already personally reviewing all authority expenditures in excess of $2,500, as recommended by the auditors.

Continue reading this story on the...