Under the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, OIG is authorized to carry out various reviews to "promote economy, efficiency, and effectiveness in the administration of, and ... prevent and detect fraud and abuse in ... [TVA's] programs and operations."

As part of our mission, we conduct reviews that rely on input from employees, management officials, and affected departmental programs and operations. The findings from our audits, investigations, and evaluations help TVA improve its programs and operations as well as prevent or detect fraud, waste, or abuse.

Key Focus Areas

The Contract Audits department performs contract compliance audits, contract preaward attestation examinations, contracting process (performance) reviews, and provides assistance to our Investigations unit.
The Financial and Operational Audits department performs audits of TVA regulatory and governance processes and risk-based audits to improve program effectiveness and efficiency. Work stems largely from mandates, risk assessments, consideration of emerging issues, and requests.
The IT Audits department performs security and control audits of TVA's IT infrastructure, policies, development processes, operations, and IT governance/oversight. IT Audits' work stems from mandated reviews in the areas of privacy and TVA's security program management as well as from risk assessments of existing and emerging technology.
The Evaluations department seeks to ensure that TVA program objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently. It performs both comprehensive reviews and more limited-scope policy and program reviews.
Organizational Effectiveness Evaluations performs risk-based reviews to assess operational and cultural areas, including strengths and risk areas that could impact an organization's ability to achieve its mission and goals.

The Audit / Evaluation Process

Announce Review

A memorandum to TVA management (and when applicable, letter to the contractor management) from OIG management formally scheduling the audit / evaluation is typically sent shortly after the phone call or email has been made.

Entrance Conference

The entrance conference is a meeting between the audit / evaluation team and the responsible TVA personnel (and when applicable, contractor personnel) after the scheduling memorandum (letter) has been sent. The review team explains the purpose of the audit / evaluation (objectives), the areas to be reviewed during the review (scope), and the estimated date the review will be complete (timing).

Review Fieldwork

Audit / evaluation field work is performed by the review team and typically includes conducting interviews; reviewing policies, procedures, contract documents, etc.; testing for compliance with the policies, procedures, contract terms, etc.; assessing the adequacy of internal controls; and assessing programs' effectiveness and efficiency. The review team regularly communicates any issues identified (findings) during this portion of the review with the responsible TVA personnel (and when applicable, contractor personnel).

Exit Conference

The Exit Conference is a meeting between the review team and the responsible TVA personnel (and when applicable, contractor personnel) after the field work is completed. The review team explains all issues identified (findings) from the audit / evaluation, the OIG's recommendations to address the issues, how the report process will work, and when the draft report is expected to be issued.

Draft Report

The Draft Audit / Evaluation Report is issued to TVA management (and when applicable, contractor management) and contains detailed commentary describing the issues identified (findings) and recommendations to address the findings. TVA management (and when applicable, contractor management) are requested to provide written comments on the report within 30 days of the draft report date.

Auditee & TVA Management Comments

TVA management (and when applicable, contractor management) are to provide their written comments on the draft report to OIG management within 30 days of the draft report date.

Final Audit / Evaluation Report

The Final Audit / Evaluation Report is issued to TVA management (and when applicable, contractor management) and contains the issues identified (findings), recommendations to address the findings, and incorporates TVA management's comments on the draft audit report (and when applicable, contractor management's comments on the draft audit report).

TVA Management Decision & Actions to be Taken

TVA management is responsible for (1) determining the necessary actions to take in response to the recommendations in the final audit / evaluation report, and (2) notifying OIG management in writing within 60 days of the final report date of its actions taken or planned actions.

Final Action

The OIG tracks all Final Report recommendations until (1) TVA management formally notifies OIG management of the actions taken to address the recommendations, and (2) the OIG confirms those actions have been taken by TVA management.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) is intended to give TVA employees and managers helpful information regarding the nature and scope of OIG audit and evaluation activities, as well as their obligations and rights in connection with these activities. In the interest of transparency, we are providing these FAQs to promote greater understanding of OIG's processes.

An audit conforms to the Government Accountability Office's Government Auditing Standards (2018 revision), which require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence that will provide a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Evaluations conform to the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency's Quality Standards for Inspection and Evaluation (January 2012), which defines evaluations as a process that evaluates or analyzes programs or departments for the purpose of measuring performance; assessing the efficiency and effectiveness of programs and operations; sharing best practices; and inquiring into allegations of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement.
Each year, we conduct a risk assessment of TVA programs. Based on each year's risk assessment, we develop an audit / evaluation plan outlining the work we intend to accomplish during the next fiscal year. The plan is modified during the year as necessary to respond to unanticipated requests and issues.
The elements needed for an issue to be considered a finding depend on the objectives of the audit / evaluation. An effect (or potential effect) of a risk, a lack of internal control, a quality-control issue, or another problem may demonstrate the need for corrective action.
Yes, although the form may vary. We usually discuss preliminary findings with agency / contractor staff as we identify them during our fieldwork. The staff can, and should, work with us during fieldwork to ensure that our information is factually correct and to promptly resolve any issues or miscommunications. In addition, management has an opportunity to make comments that are included in the final report.
The head of the operating unit or office being reviewed and any other stakeholders receive a PDF of the report via e-mail. A small number of printed copies may also be sent to primary stakeholders. Finally, we post a PDF of the report on the OIG website for public viewing. If the report contains proprietary information or other information that is not appropriate for public release under applicable law, it may be redacted before we post it, or we may clear only the abstract of the report for public release.
The period of time from announcing the review through the issuance of the final report depends on the individual project, based on the significance of the issues identified; the scope of the work reviewed; and the breadth of the review's objective.
Any questions or issues may be addressed to Curt Hudson, Deputy Assistant Inspector General - Audits

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