An Inspector General (IG) investigates fraud, waste, and abuse, as well as threats to public safety and morale. An IG conducts administrative reviews, inquiries, or investigations to resolve complaints. Inspector General investigations are leadership tools that indicate where command involvement needs to correct systematic, programmatic, or procedural weaknesses. An IG, instructed to evaluate morale and mission performance, may feel more allegiance to the command than to the complainant.
Many counselors dislike IG complaints because the client has virtually no control, is generally ignored, and often finds the investigator hostile. However, IG complaints may be useful to ensure whistleblower protection. Inspectors General may delegate the actual work of investigating and making findings and recommendations downwards, and the officer assigned to investigate the complaint might be in the member’s command or an immediately superior command. Inspectors General can only make findings and recommendations. The member’s command, a superior command, or Service headquarters will decide whether or not to take action.
All complaints made to the DoD Inspector General are protected communications under the Whistleblower Protection Act. Complainants are protected from reprisals, including unwarranted referrals for mental health evaluations. The DoD IG Hotline can be reached at (800) 424-9098.