Audit Federal utility execs overspent on travel expenses

NASHVILLE — An audit has found instances where executives for the nation’s largest public utility overspent on travel.The inspector general’s report Wednesday audited about $1.8 million worth of Tennessee Valley Authority executive travel expenses from October 2016 through July 2018.The report cites instances where executives didn’t comply with federal travel regulation and TVA policies, including overpaid per diems; excessive meal costs while travelling; use of car services instead of less expensive options; foreign travel problems; lodging issues; and travel costs unreported to the utility’s board.The audit says the actions could send TVA employees a message that management isn’t committed to federal and agency policies.TVA President and CEO Jeff Lyash, who started in April, said the utility is clarifying policies and will better follow those that are clear.Jonathan Mattise, The Associated Press read more

In Paris Ban discusses Mediterranean crisis and climate change with President Hollande

With regard to the humanitarian crisis in the Mediterranean Sea, Mr. Ban welcomed “with satisfaction the measures announced last week by the Heads of State and Government of the European countries,” on the Mediterranean crisis. “They represent an important first step towards European collective action,” he added at a joint press conference with French President, François Hollande.“This is a humanitarian crisis, not a safety issue. We need to defeat the criminals who are trafficking in human beings. But we must also concern ourselves with the root causes of migration, so that people are not forced to leave their homes,” the UN chief added.“If there are so many migrants, it is because people fleeing war and persecution. Violent extremism is fuelled by conflict and poor governance.”The Secretary-General said that to “confront this threat against global security; we must deploy comprehensive and complex solutions. In a few months, I will present to the General Assembly at its 70th session, a plan to fight against violent extremism.”Mr. Ban also delivered a speech to students of the Institute of Political Studies in Paris, where he encouraged students to express themselves and become global citizens.He urged them to take action on climate change and welcomed initiatives to organize momentum for the upcoming conference on the issue, which will be held later this year in Paris. “Young people have more ideas and I really count on your commitment,” said the Secretary-General. “The world must find ways to adapt to the changes already underway.”“We will need to do is considerable resources. Developed countries must clear path that will allow them to collect 100 billion by 2020 to finance climate action in developing countries. And the Green Climate Fund should start operating effectively and making payments before we meet in Paris,” he emphasized. While he was in France, the Secretary General also announced the appointment of French national Jean Todt as his Special Envoy for Road Safety. Mr Todt is the President of the International Automobile Federation (FIA).Each year about 1.3 million people are killed and nearly 50 million more injured on the roads worldwide. Half of the deaths are pedestrians, cyclists or motorcyclists, according to the UN. read more