We audited the Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) executive travel expenses to determine if they complied with Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and TVA’s policies and procedures. Our audit scope included approximately $1.8 million in TVA executive travel expenses occurring from October 1, 2016, through July 31, 2018. Our audit found several instances where TVA executives did not comply with the FTR and/or TVA policies for travel, business meetings, and hospitality including (1) overpaid meal and incidental expenses per diem, (2) excessive meal costs incurred while in travel status, (3) the use of “car services” instead of less expensive modes of transportation in certain locations, (4) foreign travel expenses that did not comply with the FTR and TVA policies, (5) lodging that was not always in compliance with the FTR and TVA policies, and (6) some travel costs that were not reported to the TVA Board of Directors. Additionally, we found domestic airfare was generally in compliance with the FTR, but an area for improvement was identified. In summary, the actions by some TVA executives indicate a “Tone at the Top” that could send a message to TVA employees that management is not committed to the TVA Code of Conduct and compliance with the FTR and TVA policies and procedures. We made 14 recommendations to TVA management to strengthen controls around executive travel by reinforcing the existing TVA travel policy and developing additional guidance to ensure compliance with the FTR. TVA management provided actions they plan to take to address each of our recommendations.
Wednesday, September 11, 2019
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