When should you go to the IG?

  • Published
  • By Dennis Lange, Chief of Complaints
  • Inspector General's Office, 88th Air Base Wing

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Inspector General’s Office provides services to all military and civilian personnel, retirees and family members.

But when should that become an option? The IG response most often is, “When you have tried all other means and the issue(s) remain unresolved.”

In most cases when a “complainant” contacts the IG, that individual has tried everything to resolve their issues. He or she often comes to the IG office at the end of the day frustrated, upset and distracted, seeking advisement and resolution.

The majority of complaints are organizational issues involving a communication failure, allegations of harassment and/or hostile work environment.

While the IG may be granted the authority to investigate or conduct an inquiry into many issues, it is often more advantageous to the complainant to refer command matters to the commander or other agency for resolution. It’s also in accordance with Air Force Instruction 90-301, “IG Complaints Resolution, Table 3.6. Note 4.”

The reason is that the commander can direct an immediate investigation or inquiry into the allegations and, when necessary, take action to remedy the issue(s). In addition, many complaints are not command matters and promptly referred to the agency having the authority and responsibility over the issues of concern.

However, the IG has exclusive appointment authority to investigate matters of reprisal, restriction and, when directed, allegations of fraud, waste and abuse. Complaints involving criminal matters are referred to the Air Force Office of Special


Also significant, all IG conversations remain protected unless the complainant decides to file a complaint and sign an AF Form 102 with the full explanation and understanding on how it will be handled from initiation to completion. This does not occur until a thorough conversation between the individual and IG occurs to ensure the complainant fully understands their rights to file a complaint, what their protections are under the system, and that he or she has the authority to file or not file a complaint.

On occasion after discussing the complaint issues, evidence and options available, a complainant may decide not to file one for fear of reprisal or retaliation, and this is OK. But the decision is not made until after a through discussion of the facts, circumstances and options are considered.

What’s important is that the IG is positioned to listen, understand and advise the complainant on what avenues or options are available to address their concerns. Based on IG staff experience and the relationship they maintain with other base referral agencies and networking resources, the Inspector General’s Office is ideally suited to provide advisement and options to resolve complainant issues.

Whatever the case, the IG remains available to listen to any complainant, regardless of status (active duty, retired, spouse, civilian employee, civilian, contractor, etc.) or the issues.

If you have a concern and would like to discuss it with the IG, visit Bldg. 110 (Room 116) in Area A or call for an appointment at 937-656-2900. We are here to help.