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, 2021, to September 30, 2021. Our independent, professional, and dedicated staff continually focus on identifying potential risks to the Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) ability to achieve its mission of providing reliable power at the lowest feasible rates, environmental stewardship, and economic development to the Tennessee Valley.
In this semiannual period, our audit, evaluation, and investigative activities identified more than $33.4 million in questioned costs, funds put to better use, recoveries, and waste, as well as opportunities for TVA to improve its programs and operations. Below are highlights of our work this period.
- Six compliance audits of contracts identified overbillings and cost savings of almost $23.2 million.
- An audit of solar purchased power agreements found TVA had employed recommendations from a previous Office of the Inspector General (OIG) report on wind power contracts to (1) take a more measured approach for large projects in areas TVA does not have familiarity or that are new to TVA and (2) provide positive financial value earlier in the term of the purchased power agreements.
- Information Technology (IT) audits in the areas of privacy, privileged account management, and patching revealed several areas for improvement.
- An evaluation of TVA Nuclear's handling of potentially contaminated liquids identified deficiencies in the handling of these liquids at each of TVA's nuclear sites.
- Evaluations of TVA's coal, gas, and hydro industrial hygiene programs identified weaknesses that resulted in some hazards not being identified and evaluated.
- An evaluation of Transmission and Power Supply's arc flash protection program identified weaknesses related to adherence to procedures and arc flash calculations.
- Six organizational effectiveness evaluations in various TVA organizations identified strengths as well as behavioral risks that could, if not addressed, impact each individual business unit's ability to execute its mission.
- Results from investigations include more than $7.3 million in restitution to TVA and others, and almost $2.9 million of waste/other monetary loss identified, in addition to significant civil, prosecutive, and administrative results.
Our Inspector General (IG) position has been vacant since September 2017 when Richard Moore resigned to become the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Although outside this reporting period, on October 6, 2021, President Joe Biden announced his intent to nominate Ben Wagner to be the next TVA IG. Additionally, on April 22, 2021, President Biden forwarded the nominations of Beth Geer, Robert Klein, Kimberly Lewis, and Michelle Moore for the TVA Board of Directors to the United States Senate, where they are awaiting confirmation.
I am extremely honored to get to work with this OIG team every day to make TVA better. Our team remains focused not only on what we do, but also on how we perform our work to maximize our resources and help identify risks to TVA. In our Noteworthy Events section, you will see two of our teams who were recognized by the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency with Awards for Excellence. In addition, for six consecutive years, because of the continual focus of each person on this team to create and maintain a strong work environment, our office has been recognized as one of the Best Places to Work in the Federal Government—an honor directly attributable to the dedication of our entire team.
Finally, these continue to be difficult times, with unique challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. As we work to identify risks and areas for improvement, we appreciate the professionalism of and dialogue with TVA's Board and management so that these risks can be mitigated. We look forward to continuing to work with the TVA Board and management as we all strive to make TVA better for the benefit of everyone in the Tennessee Valley.