Another “Best in the World” recognition for TVA

Another “Best in the World” recognition for TVA
January 13, 2011

There’s not another federal government agency with the chutzpah to self aggrandizement as much as the Tennessee Valley Authority.

The latest self adulatory blast comes from its “award” of being one of the “top five” government websites. You should hear just how good TVA thinks of itself, for example, “A top Washington publication has named the Tennessee Valley Authority’s newly redesigned website,, one of the five best in the U.S. government.” That’s quoting TVA.

Sorry folks, but TVA again starts out with one of its usual misleading statements. They are either a government agency or not; they can’t be a “dot com” enterprise that TVA claims. Some search engines flatly state this may be a ploy to confuse and misuse the suffix. And they are correct in this assessment. TVA continues to confuse, abuse its unusual powers and implies something it is not, a private business.

When anyone looks at a URL suffix and it says “dot com” its meaning is instantly presumed; and when the suffix is “dot gov” that meaning also is instantly known. I don’t believe any other federal government agency has the cahunas to call itself both fish and fowl at the same time.

TVA continues, “An assessment by of CQ-Roll Call Group, which publishes Congressional Quarterly and the Capitol Hill newspaper Roll Call, said TVA’s website “jumps out at users right away” with “high-quality images” that “capture a visitor’s attention.”
“Nice, big pictures, quick links, concise menu, good use of color and no clutter all make this a successful website,” the publication said. “The interior pages are well organized and individually designed to meet the needs of the content.”

“The publication consulted with Internet designers and other independent professionals in the Washington area to determine the government’s best-designed public websites.”

No question about it, TVA has a much glitzier website but like beauty, it is only skin deep. When you really want to research the TVA, their database is frustrating in its organization and obscure in its definitions. For instance, put “TVA budget” (with quotes) in their search box and you will come up empty handed except for a few unconnected reports. Nothing much else in the financial area except filing notices with the SEC and very few of them and in TVA’s usual
non-chronological order. The only reason for data to be organized that way, I would presume, is to obscure, or to lessen further searches on the TVA sites.

The last credible place to comment on TVA’s showboat or dull website would be Washington oriented judges. For those who seek information about TVA’s chicanery, dissembling and misstatements, to put it civilly, must look elsewhere.

Ernest Norsworthy


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