Triennial Assessment of TVA, FY's 1980-1982

RCED-83-123: Published: Apr 15, 1983. Publicly Released: Apr 15, 1983.

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GAO reported on its work at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) during fiscal years 1980 through 1982 and evaluated TVA compliance with prior GAO recommendations.

GAO found that TVA implemented several rate increases during this period due primarily to the financing of its construction program. Although TVA had planned to build 14 nuclear generating units to meet projected electricity needs, consumption actually declined and only two of these units are currently operational. GAO had initiated several reports on the way TVA projects future demand for electricity and made recommendations for improving the process. GAO found that, despite the high cost of coal and nuclear fuel, TVA has taken actions which have saved or avoided costs totalling over $770 million. GAO believes that congressional oversight authority over TVA power program operations needs to be strengthened, and it provided optional oversight methods which do not require congressional legislation. GAO found that recent TVA actions have satisfactorily implemented prior GAO recommendations to increase internal audits as a viable option to the establishment of an inspector general. Finally, GAO noted that administration cutbacks in funding research and development projects have adversely affected the ability of TVA to demonstrate the commercial feasibility of several emerging technologies.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed - Not Implemented

    Comments: Congress did not consider this a high priority during the 98th Congress nor does it appear that it will be a high priority during subsequent Congresses.

    Matter: If Congress wants to maintain its historical periodic oversight every 4 to 7 years of raising the TVA debt ceiling, it will need to reduce the current borrowing authority.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: When we confirm what actions the agency has taken in response to this recommendation, we will provide updated information.

    Recommendation: The Board of Directors, TVA, should take necessary actions to: (1) ensure that the procedures and controls for safeguarding tagged equipment and materials be brought under proper management controls; and (2) ensure the completion and issuance of agencywide procedures and guidelines to be used in deciding whether the design and construction should be done in-house or by private contractors along the lines GAO suggested in its March 15, 1982, report.

    Agency Affected: Tennessee Valley Authority

 

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