MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL PERFORMING THE DUTIES OF INSPECTOR GENERAL JILL MATTHEWS
I am pleased to present our report for the period April 1, 2020, to September 30, 2020. October 18, 2020, marks 35 years since the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Our feature, "Making TVA Better for
35 Years," takes a look back at the evolution of our office and how we help TVA save or recover money, reduce risks, improve operations, and provide a deterrent to fraud. We approach our work with the purpose of making TVA better every day—a purpose that we share with the TVA Board of Directors (Board), management, and employees.
The Tennessee Valley, our country, and the entire world have faced a unique challenge during this period as a result of the global pandemic. Our dedicated and professional staff made adjustments to how we perform our work so that we could continue delivering results for the people of the Tennessee Valley. In this semiannual period, our audit, evaluation, and investigative activities identified more than
$32.8 million in questioned costs, funds put to better use, and recoveries and opportunities for TVA to improve its programs and operations. Below are highlights of our work this period.
- Six contract preaward examinations identified more than $21.9 million of potential savings opportunities for TVA to negotiate.
- Five contract compliance audits identified potential overbillings of almost $10.9 million and ways to improve contract administration.
- An audit determined TVA's process for managing heavy equipment provided to contractors was not effective.
- Organizational effectiveness evaluations in seven TVA business units identified behavioral and operational factors that could impact achieving their mission.
- Evaluations of TVA's arc flash procedures in Power Operations and Nuclear identified some requirements that were not being performed and improvement areas in personal protective equipment management practices and arc flash training.
- An evaluation found TVA's implementation of the grid access charge was revenue neutral as intended.
- In evaluations of overtime at coal and gas plants, we determined TVA may not be accurately capturing the effects of fatigue for individuals working significant overtime.
- Information technology (IT) audits identified improvement opportunities in TVA's (1) backup verification of mission essential data,
(2) insider threat program, and (3) management of Mac® desktops and laptops.
- An audit of TVA's Business Meetings and Hospitality program identified improvement opportunities in (1) the approval process to ensure compliance with the Business Meetings and Hospitality policy and (2) guidance for compliance with TVA's Food Services policy and the classification of meeting-related expenses.
- Investigative results included three criminal Informations filed, one conviction, two administrative cases involving inappropriate use/receipt of TVA funds, and the conclusion of a Hatch Act matter.
Our Inspector General (IG) position has been vacant since September 2017 when Richard W. Moore resigned to become the United States (U.S.) Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. On April 6, 2020, President Donald Trump nominated Katherine A. Crytzer to be the next TVA IG, but on September 22, 2020, the nomination was withdrawn when the President instead decided to nominate her for a position as a U.S. District Judge.
During this semiannual period, two members of the TVA Board departed. OIG staff had the opportunity to work closely with both Chair James "Skip" Thompson and Director Richard Howorth, who also previously served as Chair. We wish to recognize their service and note appreciatively that both always demonstrated the willingness to listen, exchange ideas, and act on OIG recommendations.
Finally, I again want to recognize the perseverance and dedication of our staff, which allowed us to achieve these excellent results while facing unparalleled circumstances. While we can anticipate continuing external challenges in the months ahead, we will remain committed to continuing our work and taking all necessary precautions to protect our staff. I am confident that as we begin our 36th year, we will maintain that focus on helping the TVA Board, TVA management, and employees mitigate risks to TVA's mission and better serve the people of the Tennessee Valley.