Portland, OR -

Federal officials have released a report blasting the Bonneville Power Administration for hiring practices that disadvantaged veterans and other applicants.

The report from the U.S. Department of Energy's inspector general follows a highly critical audit in August of human resources work at the federal utility agency.

The BPA markets power from federal dams in the Columbia Basin and manages much of the region's power grid.

The report says the BPA consistently manipulated the rating process for applicants -- in nearly half the cases from November 2010 to June 2012.

It says the agency didn't disclose the inappropriate personnel practices and didn't start corrective actions.

The agency's acting administrator, Elliot Mainzer, said in a written statement the findings are "deeply troubling" and the agency is "fully committed to addressing the problems."