CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, 720-962-7411, mediarelations@wapa.gov

Lakewood, Colo. – The Department of Energy Inspector General’s office has concluded that WAPA is appropriately managing its unobligated balances.

After reviewing WAPA’s use and strategy around unobligated balances, the DOE IG published its final report titled Western Area Power Administration’s Unobligated Balances from Various Funding Sources, which found WAPA had appropriately:

  • Retained and carried forward unobligated balances in its Construction, Rehabilitation, Operation and Maintenance account from year to year; 
  • Developed and implemented a strategy for managing its unobligated balances in fiscal year 2017, as well as established a mechanism to monitor and report the balances; and 
  • Disclosed its unobligated balances to the DOE’s Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the Office of Management and Budget and Congress as part of the president’s budget request.

​Unobligated balances allow WAPA to continue operating under adverse conditions, such as extended continuing resolutions, drought and changes in capital construction plans. WAPA manages this funding to reserve only what is necessary for safe operations and continued work toward capital investments in critical energy infrastructure.

“The unobligated balance strategy is integral to our mission,” said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. “It ensures we can continue delivering reliable electricity to more than 40 million Americans, regardless of unexpected events or crises.”

In 2016, WAPA published its fiscal year 2016-2020 unobligated balance strategy following a recommendation in a ​Government Accountability Office report published in October 2015. That report also found that WAPA was managing its unobligated balances effectively.

The strategy identifies funding thresholds for three programs crucial to delivering electricity across 15 states, including annual operations and maintenance, capital investments and purchase power and wheeling.

WAPA reviews the unobligated balances monthly to ensure balances and plans align with the strategy. The funds are also audited by a third-party public accounting firm annually.

“Our goal and responsibility as a federal agency is to be transparent and prudent with funds entrusted to us by our customers and Congress. We appreciate the IG’s thorough review to ensure we are meeting that responsibility,” said Senior Vice President and C​hief Financial Officer Dennis Sullivan. “We are committed to sharing our financial and operational information, where permissible, with our stakeholders and the American public.” 


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 57​ federal hydroelectric power plants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy.

Last modified on September 12th, 2023