FPU earns high marks on TVA compliance audit

Fayetteville Public Utilities (FPU) has received high marks after an exhaustive audit performed by Tennessee Valley Authority’s Distributor Compliance Group.

During a presentation to FPU’s board of directors, Walter Haynes, representing TVA, told board members that FPU’s compliance audit was “one of the cleanest” he has seen since TVA began performing compliance assessments of each of TVA’s local power companies.

“The compliance audit that TVA does is an audit that looks at the operations of Fayetteville Public Utilities to determine if you are in compliance with the wholesale power contract that you have with the Tennessee Valley Authority,” he explained.  “The compliance audit looks at 14 different areas that are required by the wholesale power contract we have with FPU.”

According to Haynes, each of TVA’s 155 power companies will be assessed on a recurring four-year cycle, with testing focused on contract areas of billing, discriminatory practices and uses of revenue. And, while FPU was scheduled to have its compliance audit performed next year, CEO and General Manager Britt Dye requested TVA perform the audit this summer.

“Because of some not-so-favorable publicity that another utility had from a comptroller’s audit from the state of Tennessee, Britt (Dye) asked us to come on in and do the compliance audit,” Haynes explained, referring to the scathing audit handed down on Lincoln County Board of Public Utilities last year.

Of the 14 areas of focus on TVA’s compliance report, FPU was in full compliance in eight of those areas, Haynes said.

“FPU had a terrific compliance audit,” Haynes told the board. “Fayetteville Public Utilities exhibits a culture which promotes compliance with the TVA contract.

“Fayetteville Public Utilities is very, very fortunate to have the experience and knowledgeable staff that’s here. It’s something you should be very proud of,” he said. “I can tell you in working with a total of eight distributors, that’s not always the case with all utilities.

“…this is the sixth compliance audit I’ve seen, and this is the cleanest compliance report of those six.”

The compliance audit revealed six reportable results, all of which are minor issues, Haynes said. The issues identified – none of which had a financial impact – have been corrected or have a plan in place to be corrected and include such actions as adopting written documents to specify TVA-approved rate codes, installing a demand meter for one customer required to have such a meter and refunding 51-cents to a customer for an incorrect adjustment.

“When we get down to the meat of what has to be corrected,” he said, “it’s almost nothing in all areas. None of these are bad.”

Following Haynes’ presentation, Dye expressed his appreciation to the FPU staff for their work and said he is pleased with the results.

“We were scheduled to have a compliance audit from TVA in 2014 but requested that audit in 2013,” Dye said after the meeting. “This was a detailed audit that checked compliance with our TVA contract, and the results were very good. We are working to provide the proper documentation in the few issues noted in the audit, and there was no financial impact associated with those issues.”

Janine Wilson, chairman of FPU’s board of directors, praised Dye and the FPU employees after the board was informed of the audit results.

“It was no surprise to me or the other board members that FPU had extremely high marks on the recent compliance report,” Wilson said after the meeting. “Mr. Dye and the employees at FPU go above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that things are done correctly and report to the board each month on compliance issues.

“We are all proud of the job that they do, and this community should be proud of such a well-run organization,” she added. “Congratulations to the entire staff at FPU.”

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