Economic Development:

Tennessee Valley Authority--Options for Oversight

EMD-82-54: Published: Mar 19, 1982. Publicly Released: Mar 23, 1982.

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GAO was requested to review oversight opportunities relative to the power program of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Specifically, GAO was requested to determine: (1) to what extent the TVA Act gives Congress oversight responsibility for the TVA power program; (2) what actions are needed to gain additional oversight of TVA activities, such as bringing the TVA ratemaking process under the jurisdiction of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission; and (3) other options available to increase or improve oversight at TVA.

GAO found that the TVA Board of Directors is in a unique position of autonomy when compared to other utilities or other Federal entities. This seems to have been the congressional intent at the time the Act was passed and has been reinforced in the latest major congressional action on TVA. Congress established and has maintained the Board as the single and final authority on many TVA power activities and programs including power planning, ratemaking, budget, energy resource development, and public involvement.

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