The Utility Management Review Board was originally created pursuant to Public Chapter 422 of 1987, later codified in Tennessee Code Annotated Sections 7-82-701 et seq., “for the purpose of advising utility district boards of commissioners in the area of utility management.” The legislation further stated “the Board shall be deemed to be acting for the public welfare and in furtherance of the general assembly's intent that utility districts be operated as self-sufficient enterprises.” While most of the Board’s responsibilities relate to providing assistance to utility districts located throughout the State of Tennessee, the Board also provides certain assistance to municipal water systems. Among the Board’s statutory responsibilities are the following:
- To assist in developing a plan to solve a financially distressed condition.
- To review and comment on petitions for creation and amendment of utility districts.
- To serve as an appeals board for complaints from utility district customers that a district is not following its own policies.
- To recommend for Utility Relocation Loans pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 67-3-901(j) certain utility providers required to relocate utility lines due to road construction by the Tennessee Department of Transportation.
- To assist in establishing training requirements for utility district commissioners.
- To assist in establishing ethical standards for utility districts.
- To establish guidelines for unaccounted for water (in process)
Nine members: seven appointed by the Governor for four-year terms and two ex officio. The terms of no more than two board members are to expire in the same year. Three shall be experienced utility district managers and three shall be experienced utility district commissioners. One shall be a resident consumer that may have residential development experience, but not engaged with utility district management or operation. The Commissioner of Environment and Conservation and the Comptroller of the Treasury or their designees serve as ex officio members.
New Water Loss Information
At a joint meeting of the Water and Wastewater Financing Board and the Utility Management Review Board on June 6, 2012, the Boards decided to reaffirm the October 7, 2010, decision to adopt the American Water Works Association (AWWA) water loss methodology for inclusion in any audited financial statements received by the Comptroller of the Treasury on or after January 1, 2013. The water loss methodology can be obtained from www.AWWA.org
At the June 6, 2012, meeting the following was adopted by the Boards:
- Require that the AWWA Excel Spreadsheet (in the specific format created by utilizing the AWWA Free Water Audit Software) be submitted electronically in an Excel format. It is the intention of the Boards that the AWWA Excel spreadsheet be filed by the contracted auditor in Excel format at the same time the annual audited financial statements are filed. The Excel spreadsheet is not considered audited information, but only submitted simultaneously. This requirement should not be confused with and does not replace the supplemental schedule (i.e., the single “Reporting Worksheet”) included as part of the annual audited financial statements as required by Tennessee Code Annotated.
- In accordance with TCA 68-221-1010(d)(1) and TCA 7-82-401(h)(1), failure to include the required schedule constitutes excessive water loss and…referral to the appropriate board. THEREFORE, failure to include the AWWA schedule in audited financial statements received by the Comptroller of the Treasury on or after January 1, 2013, will result in the System being referred to the appropriate Board.
- Further, utilities will be referred to the Boards based on:
- Incomplete AWWA water audit submitted anytime on or after January 1, 2013;
- For audits received by the Comptroller of the Treasury from 1/1/2013 to 12/31/2014 -Validity score of 65 or less or non-revenue water as a percent by cost of operating system of 30% or greater;
- For audits received by the Comptroller of the Treasury from 1/1/2015 to 12/31/2016 -Validity score of 70 or less or non-revenue water as a percent by cost of operating system of 25% or greater;
- For audits received by the Comptroller of the Treasury from 1/1/2017 to 12/31/2018 - Validity score of 75 or less or non-revenue water as a percent by cost of operating system of 20% or greater;
- For audits received by the Comptroller of the Treasury from 1/1/2019 to 12/31/2020 Validity score of 80 or less or non-revenue water as a percent by cost of operating system of 20% or greater.
“Total annual cost of operating the water system” as used in the AWWA Free Water Audit Software is defined to include all costs for operation, maintenance, debt service (principal and interest) and depreciation. Remember this number is to include only expenses related to the WATER system – not the sewer system. The number can be obtained from the annual audited financial statements.
Failure to achieve the designated levels will result in a referral to the Board(s).
The requirements will be reviewed by the Boards annually to ensure the desired results are being achieved. The levels are subject to change by approval of the Board(s).
All correspondence relating to the Utility Management Review Board should be directed to:
Ms. Joyce Welborn
Comptroller of the Treasury
Division of Local Government Audit
Suite 1500, James K. Polk Bldg
505 Deaderick Street
Nashville TN 37243-1402
Phone: (615) 401-7864
Fax: (615) 741-6216