TVA OIG - Office of the Inspector General

Ben R. Wagner was sworn in as Inspector General of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) on June 6, 2022, following confirmation by the United States Senate.

Ben Wagner's professional career with TVA spanned 38 years of dedicated service. The majority of his career included 31 years of service to the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) at TVA. Prior to his retirement in 2017, he served in several senior executive positions in the TVA OIG including the role of Senior Advisor, Stakeholder Relations and Deputy Inspector General where he led the audits, evaluations, investigations, and administrative functions. In addition to these senior executive roles, Wagner held several leadership positions in the audits, evaluations, and administrative functions with the TVA OIG and was integral to the start-up of the office after it was established at TVA in 1985. In the seven years before joining the TVA OIG, Wagner also held various management and staff positions in TVA, primarily in the nuclear power program. Prior to that, he served as a state auditor for the State of Tennessee.

Wagner was born in New Mexico, but has resided in the Tennessee Valley region for the majority of his life, receiving his bachelor's degree in accounting from the University of Tennessee.

TVA OIG - Office of the Inspector General

MESSAGE FROM THE DEPUTY INSPECTOR GENERAL JILL MATTHEWS

I am pleased to present our report for the period October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. 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 $9.3 million in questioned costs, funds put to better use, recoveries, waste, and opportunities for TVA to improve its programs and operations. Below are highlights of our work this period.

  • Three preaward examinations identified almost $6.5 million of potential savings opportunities for TVA to negotiate.
  • Three contract compliance audits identified over $700,000 in potential overbillings and an audit of an almost $900,000 contractor claim found the claim was invalid.
  • An audit of the maintenance of TVA-owned gas pipelines found improvements can be made in oversight of the providers, and policies need to be updated.
  • Information technology (IT) audits of internet perimeter security and remote application and desktop virtualization areas identified several areas where TVA had implemented cybersecurity best practices as well as identified vulnerabilities and gaps in settings, designs, and procedures.
  • An evaluation of the TVA Board Practice on Memberships in External Organizations found (1) no evidence TVA was out of compliance with the board practice, (2) all contracts or membership agreements contained required language limiting the use of TVA funds for prohibited activities such as litigation or lobbying, and (3) TVA does not have a contract or membership agreement with one external organization. We did not identify any evidence of direct lobbying or litigation on behalf of TVA; however, the external organizations do not administratively segregate TVA's funds, so we were unable to determine if the funds were used for lobbying or litigation.
  • An evaluation of human performance events1 in Gas Operations and Hydro Generation organizations in fiscal year (FY) 2020 determined TVA took appropriate actions or had planned actions in response to those human performance events.
  • An evaluation of the management of real property acquisitions and disposals determined sampled transactions were effectively managed by TVA; however, we also identified opportunities for improvement.
  • Four organizational effectiveness evaluations in the Gas and Nuclear 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 included the indictment of two individuals, the conviction and sentencing of a former TVA manager, sentencing of a former TVA contractor, and a significant contractual financial recovery to TVA.
Everyday our dedicated professional team focuses not only on what we do, but on how we perform our work to maximize our ability to help TVA get better. It remains a high honor to work alongside these men and women who proudly serve each day. We also appreciate the professionalism of and dialogue with TVA's Board and management as we all strive to make TVA better for the benefit of everyone in the Tennessee Valley.

1 Significant human performance events are incidents that seriously impact safety, the environment, regulatory compliance, or asset performance.

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