City auditor finds no problems with airport parking company

Filed under: Daily News,transportation |

The private company in charge of parking at the Colorado Springs Airport passed its audit with flying colors – with only a single caveat.

According to the audit by the city of Colorado Springs, Ampco needs a system in place to prevent customers from claiming a lost tickets and paying a much lower fee than they should be charged.

“The current system would not be capable of detecting this type of fraud,” the report said. “And the Airport would experience reduced revenue as a result.”

Currently, Ampco performs a nightly inventory detailing every vehicle in the parking lots around the airport. The information was used when a customer exiting the lot reported a lost parking ticket. Ampco reviewed the inventory list to determine which day the car entered the lot to calculate the charge.

During the first six months of 2011, 94 tickets were reported lost.

“Given the limitations of the current system, there is no way to determined how many of these were the result of a switching scheme,” the report said.

The city auditor recommended Ampco purchase equipment that records a license plate image as the customer enters, and connects the plate to the ticket number.

Ampco has been in charge of parking at the airport since 2001 and recently received an additional five-year extension that leaves it in charge of parking until 2014.

The company operates and maintains the short term, long term and valet parking lots, the toll plaza and the shuttle bus service between the parking lots and the terminal. The company deposits daily gross revenue to the airport bank account and is reimbursed for direct expenses. It also receives a management fee.

“Overall, Ampco was properly abiding by the terms of the contract,” the auditor’s report said. “The internal control structure was adequate in all material aspects. Ampco had policies and producers in place that supported the strong control environment.”