In March 2018, we completed Audit 2017-15470, TVA’s Fixed-Wing Aircraft. As a result of the audit findings and public interest, we initiated an audit to determine if similar issues existed with TVA’s helicopter usage. Our audit objective was to determine whether TVA’s use of its helicopter fleet is consistent with TVA policies and any applicable federal laws and regulations. Our audit scope included all helicopter flights from October 1, 2014, through December 31, 2017. We found TVA did not comply with the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) and TVA policies and procedures regarding use of TVA helicopters for passenger transportation flights. Specifically, we found (1) cost comparison analyses prior to use of the helicopters were not documented, (2) business justifications prior to use of the helicopters were not documented, and (3) authorizations prior to use of the helicopters were not documented. Failure to follow the FTR and TVA policy (1) prevents TVA from ensuring travel costs are managed effectively and (2) may cause reputational risks for TVA with regard to wasteful use (or perceived wasteful use) of the TVA helicopters. Additionally, TVA’s Standard Programs and Processes for Use of TVA Helicopters, does not address (1) documentation requirements for the various types of helicopter flights, (2) procedures necessary to evidence compliance with the FTR, and (3) the organization responsible for documenting the flights for audit purposes. We also noted passenger names are typically listed on flight sheets for passenger transportation flights but are not listed on flight sheets for transmission line or right-of-way work, aerial photography, and other similar jobs. Finally, all flight sheets listed the times of arrival and departure for multiple landings but it was unclear which passengers, if any, boarded and exited the helicopter at each location.
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
Agency Reviewed / Investigated:
Submitting OIG-Specific Report Number:
Type of Report:
Funds for Better Use:
Number of Recommendations: