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Increasing Accountability in the Government

Written by: Federal Practice Group
Written by: Federal Practice Group

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Guest Blog

A bill is being introduced to the House of Representatives by Arizona senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, which is designed to increase transparency and accountability inside the Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). WAPA would be forced to create a public website detailing information about consumer rates and agency expenses.

WAPA sells power from federal energy facilities to utility companies and other entities in 15 western states, and its reach affects about 40 million people. The agency, however, has recently come under investigation for purported abuse, fraud, and out-of-control waste. Whistleblowers within the company, our clients Keith Cloud and Nate Elam, have accused others of making fraudulent purchases for personal use and top officials of being indifferent to the problem.

Senator McCain has accused WAPA of passing on the cost of their waste to Arizona energy consumers. According to Senator McCain, the bill would present consumers with full transparency of how their tax dollars are being spent and hold WAPA accountable for any financial waste.

WAPA has also been criticized for the enormous size of a reserve balance that has exceeded $700 million. Many have questioned whether the agency has overcharged for power and directed the overflow into the reserve balance and whether rate decrease should be returned to consumers.

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