WASHINGTON, D.C. - To "strengthen accountability and management at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)," U.S. Senator Bill Frist (R-TN) has introduced legislation to expand and restructure the TVA Board of Directors.
“Accountability and prudent management must be a central focus of TVA to ensure efficiency and cost-effectiveness for ratepayers throughout the TVA region,” said Frist.
“TVA is a multi-billion dollar business and should be managed as such if it is to remain competitive and able to meet the challenges ahead. This legislation will take TVA’s depression-era administrative structure and update it to reflect a structure of a modern corporation.”
The ATVA Modernization Act of 2003@ would create a nine-member, part-time TVA Board made up of experts in corporate management and strategic decision making. All members would be required to be legal residents of the TVA service area. Each would receive an annual stipend of $30,000 adjusted for the cost of living, as well as a per diem for their expenses not to exceed $10,000 a year. The current board is comprised of three full-time members, each serving staggered nine-year terms. Frist=s bill would shorten board members= terms to staggered five-year terms and would require the board to appoint a Chief Executive Officer to manage the corporation full-time.
Since its creation in 1933, the President has nominated members to the TVA board. While the President will retain authority to appoint board members, Frist's bill would ensure that candidates have the business background necessary to run TVA effectively and efficiently. It also requires that no more than five of the nine-member board have the same political party affiliation in an effort to de-politicize the board.
The bill calls for the part-time board to establish long-range goals and policies for TVA, as well as approve the annual budget, create a compensation plan for employees and the CEO, and conduct public hearings on the policies that have a major effect on ratepayers. Board members will also determine electricity rates and ensure that independent audits of the corporation=s management are conducted. The CEO will be appointed by the board and be required to have solid management experience.