Department of Health

Western Regional Emergency Medical System, Inc. Grant Expenditures (Follow-Up Report)

Western Regional Emergency Medical System, Inc. (WREMS) was one of 16 regional organizations supporting emergency medical services in New York State. WREMS received an annual grant from the Department of Health to fund its activities. In audit report 2005-S-65, we audited grant expenditures made by WREMS and identified a number of questionable transactions. In particular, we questioned the appropriateness of monthly lease payments for an office building occupied by WREMS, because the building was owned by a corporation that existed only on paper. It appeared that WREMS was using the phony corporation to acquire the building inappropriately, as under the terms of the grant, the building would belong to the State if it was purchased directly by WREMS, We also determined that certain other grant expenditures made by WREMS were either inadequately documented, excessive or not consistent with the purpose of the grant.

We recommended the Department recover grant funds from WREMS and determine whether the building should rightfully be claimed as State property. When we followed up on these matters with Department officials, we found that our recommendations had been implemented. The Department had referred the building ownership question to the State Attorney Generalís Office, and that Office had filed suit to recover the building as State property. The Department was also pursuing the recovery of $233,000 in grant funds.

For a complete copy of Report 2007-F-11 click here.