MESSAGE FROM THE ACTING INSPECTOR GENERAL JILL MATTHEWS
I am pleased to present our report for the period October 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018. For 85 years, Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has been working to improve the lives of the people in the Tennessee Valley. This unique government corporation accomplishes this goal through energy production, environmental stewardship, and economic development. Our office provides independent analyses of TVA operations and programs to help identify more efficient and effective ways to do business and to prevent and detect fraud, waste, and abuse. In performing our mission, we approach our work with the intention of making TVA better for the people of the Tennessee Valley.
In this semiannual period, our audit, evaluation, and investigative activities identified approximately $57.9 million in funds TVA could put to better use, questioned costs, recoveries and savings, other monetary loss, and court-ordered forfeitures. In addition, we shared numerous opportunities for TVA to improve its programs and operations. Below are highlights of our work this period.
- Five preaward contract examinations of cost proposals submitted by companies to provide civil projects and coal combustion residual program management services identified almost $40 million in potential savings opportunities for TVA.
- An audit of TVA's fixed-wing aircraft program found significant weaknesses in the (1) sole source justifications and pre-purchase analyses for two aircraft purchased in 2015, and (2) compliance with applicable laws, regulations, and TVA policy and procedures. In addition, the audit determined the purchase of a jet instead of a second turboprop plane was not cost effective.
- A compliance audit of a contract with expenditures of $502 million identified potential overbillings of $6.8 million.
- An evaluation of TVA's process for addressing the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) 2009 Confirmatory Order determined TVA did not have a formal process or procedure for addressing confirmatory orders. TVA's approach also had weaknesses in assignment of accountability, oversight of implementation for new actions, and oversight of continued execution for ongoing actions.
- Three evaluations of TVA's Corrective Action Programs at Browns Ferry, Sequoyah, and Watts Bar Nuclear Plants identified areas for improvement.
- An evaluation of TVA's management of employee medical work restrictions and accommodations determined there were gaps that resulted in the process being ineffective.
- An evaluation of TVA's fuel cost adjustment (FCA) calculations determined TVA was not using all appropriate sales data to calculate the FCA, and the FCA process could be improved to reduce the risk of errors.
- An organizational effectiveness review of the Chief Human Resources Office (CHRO) identified strengths related to organizational alignment, development of CHRO strategy, and management support within the business units. In addition, potential engagement and execution risks were identified that could negatively impact achievement of the CHRO's mission.
- Investigative results included eight individuals sentenced, two guilty pleas for making false claims to obtain temporary living allowance, an individual charged with dumping untreated sewage into the Clinch River, and two civil settlements involving Valley health-care providers. Civil restitution, administrative reimbursement, criminal restitution and forfeitures ordered, projected savings, and other monetary loss totaled more than $11.4 million.
In January, our office was honored once again as one of the Best Places to Work in the federal government. This recognition is due to the commitment our team has made to continually focus on being better at not only what we do but how we perform our work every day.
Finally, in January, Kenneth Allen of Kentucky, A.D. Frazier of Georgia, Jeff W. Smith of Tennessee, and James "Skip" Thompson III of Alabama were sworn in as the newest members of the TVA Board of Directors (Board), joining sitting members Chair Richard Howorth, Virginia Lodge, Eric Satz, and Ronald Walter. We welcome the new Board members and look forward to continuing to work with the entire Board toward our mutual purpose of making TVA better.