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Feds Hand Hiring Authority Back To BPA

File photo of the Bonneville Dam spillway
File photo of the Bonneville Dam spillway

The U.S. Department of Energy says the Bonneville Power Administration can be in charge of hiring new employees again.

File photo of the Bonneville Dam spillway
Credit Wikimedia
File photo of the Bonneville Dam spillway

Last year the BPA got in trouble with the feds over hiring practices and retaliation against whistleblowers. The Energy Department found the BPA had not given preference that veterans were entitled to during hiring.

The government effectively took over the BPA's human resources department for about a year.

And of course that meant a lot of control was out of the hands of the BPA. The Department of Energy is the agency that oversees the BPA, but normally those types of hiring and firing decisions would be made at a local level.

The Department of Energy is now saying the BPA has corrected course and can now do those functions on its own again, but will continue to scrutinize the BPA's hiring practices.

The BPA also faces lawsuits from applicants who feel they were unfairly turned down for a job.

The Portland-based agency is the largest wholesaler of hydroelectric power in the Northwest.

Copyright 2014 Northwest News Network

Chris Lehman graduated from Temple University with a journalism degree in 1997. He landed his first job less than a month later, producing arts stories for Red River Public Radio in Shreveport, Louisiana. Three years later he headed north to DeKalb, Illinois, where he worked as a reporter and announcer for NPR–affiliate WNIJ–FM. In 2006 he headed west to become the Salem Correspondent for the Northwest News Network.