Regional Public Journalism
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Fixing Bonneville Power Hiring Mess A 'Monumental' Task

US Army Corps of Engineers

A final inspector general's report released Tuesday condemns the Bonneville Power Administration for discriminating against veterans and other applicants during jobs hires.

Bonneville is this region's biggest wholesale electricity and transmission provider. 

BPA issued a contrite response to the scathing report from the U.S. Energy Department's inspector general.

BPA's acting administrator Elliot Mainzer says his agency wants to provide "recourse" to the veterans and other job applicants who were "impacted by our flawed hiring practices."

The federal report estimates 22,000 applicant case files need to be reviewed. Both federal overseers and BPA spokesman Doug Johnson call it a "monumental" task to identify the victims and make it up to them.

"It is proving to be quite the task," Johnson said. "But we are working through that and doing what we can to reconstruct those cases and take care of those individuals who were impacted by those hiring practices."

The tab for fixing the hiring scandal looks to surpass $3 million. Ultimately, that money comes from electricity ratepayers throughout the region. BPA's two top administrators were placed on indefinite leave in July. 

Now semi-retired, Tom Banse covered national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reported from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events unfolded. Tom's stories can be found online and were heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.