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Audit: Tennessee Valley Authority helicopter use broke rules

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority’s inspector general says the organization’s use of a nearly $7 million executive helicopter wasn’t always cost effective, and broke federal travel rules.

News outlets report that an internal audit of TVA helicopter use was released this week. It says many trips executives made on their helicopter were too short for such aircraft, like traveling between Knoxville and Chattanooga. Auditors determined that it cost around $1,100 to make the trips between the cities separated by roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers), and saved 15 to 24 minutes compared to driving.

The report says violations included flying without proper documentation and justification.

TVA spokesman Jim Hopson says the federally owned electric utility is working to improve its procedures, but that officials disagree with some conclusions about travel rules.

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