Press Releases

Washington, D.C.U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) sent a letter to U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General (IG) Rickey Hass today regarding the agency’s letter confirming aspects of its review of allegations of waste, fraud and abuse within the Desert Southwest Region (DSW) of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) are the subject of an ongoing criminal investigation. In its letter, the IG also noted that that DSW had not implemented changes to its procurement practices and that its construction contracts are under review. In their letter, Senators McCain and Flake urge the IG to fully investigate allegations of wrongdoing and ensure transparency is provided to WAPA’s customers.

“We are deeply troubled by the fact that DSW has not fully implemented changes to its procurement practices and that its construction contracts have also come into question,” the senators write. “We look forward to seeing the results of your office’s comprehensive audit of both of these departments. Providing cost transparency throughout WAPA is of paramount importance to its customer groups.”

The response follows the senators’ July letter asking for an update on DOE’s investigation into concerns raised about WAPA’s questionable practices, which have negatively impacted power customers in Arizona.

The senators’ letter is below and here. The DOE IG letter is here.

 

August 18, 2016

Rickey R. Hass, Inspector General

U.S. Department of Energy

Office of Inspector General

1000 Independence Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20585

Dear Inspector General Haas,

Thank you for your August 4, 2016 response to our request for an update on the ongoing review of allegations of waste, fraud, and abuse within the Desert Southwest Region (DSW) of the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA).

We understand that aspects of your review are the subject of an active criminal investigation. Given that the potential for criminal activity undermines WAPA’s integrity among its customers, it is imperative that these matters be fully investigated and that any potential criminal activity be referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ), and that responsible individuals be held accountable.

We are deeply troubled by the fact that DSW has not fully implemented changes to its procurement practices and that its construction contracts have also come into question. We look forward to seeing the results of your office’s comprehensive audit of both of these departments. Providing cost transparency throughout WAPA is of paramount importance to its customer groups. 

Based on our ongoing interest in this matter, we request that you provide an interim briefing to our offices as soon as possible, and a final briefing upon the completion of your investigations. We appreciate your office’s attention to these serious allegations and for conducting oversight of WAPA.

Sincerely,

John McCain                                                              

Jeff Flake

                                  

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