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City of Allen - Headline Updates

Posted on: March 11, 2020

Internal Audit Will Examine Water Billing Concerns

lawn sprinkler spraying water on grass

In response to resident concerns regarding 2019 water bills, the City of Allen will perform an internal audit of residential meter reading and utility billing.

This operational audit will also assist the City in preparing for an eventual transition to smart meters, which allows customer to see water use data in much greater detail. The internal audit will follow best practices outlined by the American Water Works Association (AWWA) and the Texas Water Development Board (TWDB).

The audit is designed to:

  • Determine if meters are being read and the accuracy of meter reads
  • Determine the accuracy of water metering equipment
  • Analyze how data is collected, transmitted and stored to determine billing accuracy
  • Identify factors affecting water usage

What is involved in the audit?

The audit will focus on the meter reading process, metering equipment and utility billing process. It will also include a data analysis of other factors which impact water use such as temperature, rainfall and water leaks. The audit will examine data from January 1-December 31, 2019.

Two hundred accounts will be sampled during the audit process. This number is two to four times higher than the number identified as a “sufficient sample” by AWWA and TWDB. The auditor will have access to some historic account data, including leak detection requests, as part of the comprehensive review.

Meters that are removed for testing will be replaced with a new meter and a door hanger notification with additional information.

Who will perform the audit?

The audit will be led by Ryan P. Patterson, a Certified Internal Auditor for the City of Allen with eight years of experience in government auditing.

Independent third parties will be used for testing meters and calculating customer billings.

Why is this audit being conducted internally?

An internal audit represented the best value for taxpayers, costing only $8,000 to examine 200 accounts. The cost of an independent external audit was estimated at $111,601 for 200 accounts or $49,868 for 50 accounts.

When will we know the results?

Results of the audit will be made available to Allen City Council and members of the public this summer.

Find more local stories at AllenNews.org.
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