International Boundary and Water Commission Employees Residing in Federal Housing Should Not Receive Electricity at Reduced Rates

RCED-84-172: Published: Aug 16, 1984. Publicly Released: Aug 16, 1984.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed and compared the electricity rate charges of employees of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) who operate Falcon Dam and live in government-owned housing in Falcon Village, Texas, with the electricity rate charges of other government workers living in Falcon Village.

The Falcon Village facilities were first developed to house workers while the Falcon Dam was under construction. Until recently, the employees were apportioned a share of the power costs according to the size of their government-furnished quarters. In 1983, the cooperative which supplies electricity to the community's housing units agreed to lower the rates charged to the Falcon Dam employees and the employees of Amistad Dam, another dam under IBWC jurisdiction. The cooperative recovers the revenues it loses by charging higher rates to its other residential customers. GAO believes that providing electricity at reduced rates to IBWC employees residing at Falcon Dam and at Amistad is improper. GAO stated that electricity is normally regarded as a personal expense of an individual user; therefore, the home-use electrical rate charges for IBWC employees at Falcon Village and Amistad should be levied on the same basis as charges for other home users in those areas.

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 Commissioner, IBWC, should notify the Medina Electric Cooperative of the contents of this letter and work with them to ensure that cooperative action is taken to begin charging IBWC employees residing at Falcon Village and Amistad the rate paid by other federal employees residing in government-owned housing and private residences in the area.

    Agency Affected: International Boundary and Water Commission, United States and Mexico


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