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How to File a Complaint
Before filing a complaint with a Navy Inspector General, please review the four complaint categories to ensure the hotline is the appropriate process to resolve your issue.


Complaint Categories:
  • If you have already filed a complaint with another office/agency concerning your issue and the investigation is ongoing, continue to pursue your complaint with that office until the investigation is completed. We will not initiate an investigation into a complaint that is already being addressed using another process.

 

  • If you have already contacted a member of Congress concerning an issue, please continue to pursue resolution of your complaint with your Congressman as we cannot duplicate the process you have already initiated by contacting a member of Congress.

 

  • If you need assistance with correcting your official military personnel record and you are no longer on active duty, the appropriate agency to address your request is the Board for Correction of Naval Records (BCNR).

 

  • If you are requesting assistance with dependent/former dependent financial support, please read the Dependent's Questions & Answers page regarding dependent support.

 

If none of the above apply to you, review the Hotline Complaint Procedure below to determine if you should file a complaint.

Step 1
Determine the best method to address your issue.

We encourage complainants to first attempt to resolve their issue using the chain of command. We also refer complainants to other processes established by the Department of the Defense or the Department of the Navy to resolve issues.

Contact your chain of command to solve the problem. Start at the lowest possible level and use command channels before elevating them to the next higher level.

Discuss your problem with members in your chain of command such as the legal staff, union representative, chaplain, human resource personnel, equal opportunity advisor, your immediate supervisor, and Commanding Officer. Our experience has shown, with few exceptions, that commands are responsive to complainants' issues.

Military members may want to bring the issue to the attention of:
His/Her immediate or second level supervisor
Department Head
Commanding Officer (see: Commanding Officer Request Mast)

Civilian personnel may want to bring the issue to the attention of:
His/Her immediate or second level supervisor
Commanding Officer
Local Human Resource Office
Human Resource Service Center, etc.

If you are unable to resolve the matter using the chain of command, you may consider filing a formal grievance. These grievance procedures differ depending on your employment status.

Military members may consider filing one of the following grievances:
◾Complaint of Wrongs Against the Commanding Officer (Article 138)
◾Complaint of Wrongs Against a Superior Outside your chain of command (Article 1150)
◾Equal Opportunity (EO) complaint, if you think you have been sexually harassed or discriminated against

Military members who feel they have been reprised against by a superior in their chain of command, may file a Military Whistleblower complaint with Department of Defense Inspector General or the Naval Inspector General.

Navy civilian employees may file grievances with the:
◾Your Human Resource Office or Human Resource Service Center
◾Merit Systems Protection Board
◾Administrative Grievance Procedure
◾Alternative Dispute Resolution
◾Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) complaint, if you think you have been sexually harassed or discriminated against

Navy Federal civilian employees who feel they have been reprised against by a superior in their chain of command, may file a complaint with the Office of Special Counsel.

Step 2
Review Frequently Asked Questions
After you determine the best method to address your complaint, read over the frequently asked questions for hotline complaints.

The following questions and answers provide information about hotline policy and procedures that you should review before you file a complaint:

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The purpose of the Hotline Program is to identify and eliminate fraud, waste, and inefficiencies in the operation of the Navy.  To be effective, the program requires all personnel to be vigilant against the possibility of illegal or improper acts, and to report to the chain of command, or an Inspector General, any improprieties in this regard.
Once a complainant makes an allegation, he/she cannot withdraw the allegation or prevent the Inspector General from proceeding with the investigation.
Generally, the Naval Inspector General and the local IGs do not accept a complaint if:
  • As stated above, you do not submit your complaint within 90 days.
  • You have not addressed your issue with the local command.
  • You have not used an appropriate complaint process for military and civilian employees such as Board for Correction of Naval Records, Equal Opportunity/Equal Employment Opportunity, Administrative Grievance Procedure, etc.
  • Another investigation is being conducted into the matter.
No. You may request confidentiality or anonymity.

You have two options when you request your identity remain confidential:
  • Release your identity to the Inspector General with the understanding that it will not be released by the investigator.
  • Identify yourself with the understanding that only the Inspector General and the investigator will know who you are.

If you request confidentiality, we will make every effort to protect your identity from disclosure; however, we cannot guarantee confidentiality since disclosure may be required during the investigation or in the course of corrective action.

If you file your complaint anonymously, we will not know who you are.  As such, we will not be able to contact you to request additional information or to give you the results of the investigation.

You may consider establishing an e-mail account using an internet service provider to submit an anonymous complaint; however, we will not respond to anonymous complaints submitted in this way since we have no way of verifying who you are.

Yes we will provide you assistance if you contact an Inspector General by telephone.  If you wish to submit a complaint, we will suggest you submit your complaint and any supporting documentation in writing.  Based on experience, we have found this to be the best way to serve you.  If the Inspector General conducts an investigation, you will be contacted for an interview.
Contact the Inspector General office where you submitted your complaint.

While the investigation is ongoing, we can only tell you whether the case is open.

Once the investigation is closed, the Inspector General will send you a letter to inform you that your allegations were substantiated or unsubstantiated.

If you wish to obtain more information about the case, you may submit a request under the Freedom of Information Act to the Inspector General office that conducted the investigation to obtain a copy of the report.
We encourage you to submit the allegation(s) in writing by e-mail, fax, letter, or using the online complaint form.  Our experience has shown that written complaints are more organized, provide more details, and are less emotional.

We will evaluate your complaint and request more information, if necessary.  Keep in mind, if we conduct an investigation, you will be interviewed and you will be able to provide additional information and documents at that time.
Most investigations are completed within 90 days but may take longer depending on the complexity of the case.
​Yes.  If you have new information to support your complaint, the case may be reconsidered.  If, on the other hand, you are merely unhappy because you do not agree with the outcome, the Inspector General will not conduct another investigation.
Generally, you should submit your complaint within 90 days of the date the alleged wrongdoing occurred.  However, we will consider complaints over 90 days old if you can demonstrate you were unable to meet the time requirement due to extraordinary circumstances or unforeseen delays.
  • ​An investigator will evaluate your complaint and determine if the matter warrants investigation or if we should refer your complaint to other authorities or the command for a response.

  • We will send a confirmation letter to let you know what action was taken on your complaint if you provide your name and address.  We are unable to notify anonymous complainants of the results of an investigation if we do not have an e-mail address.
  • Don't expect instant action on your request... be patient.
The Inspector General expects you to provide answers to the questions listed on Step 3: Prepare Your Complaint.  Remember, the more information you provide the Inspector General, the better he/she can assist you.  Be prepared to provide supporting evidence.

In accordance with SECNAVINST 5370.5B, the use of the Hotline program to file knowingly false complaints is a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001 (2003) and Title 18, Chapter 47, United States Code (Uniform Code of Military Justice).  Those suspected of willfully and knowingly filing false complaints are subject to prosecution and/or administrative action.
The Inspector General investigates matters involving:
  • Abuse of Title or Position
  • Bribes/Kickbacks/Acceptance of Gratuities
  • Conflicts of Interest
  • Ethics Violations
  • False Official Statements/Claims
  • Fraud
  • Gifts (Improper receipt or giving)
  • Improper Referral for Mental Health Evaluations
  • Mismanagement/Organization Oversight (Significant Cases)
  • Misuse of Official Time, Gov’t Property, Position and Public Office
  • Political Activities
  • Purchase Card Abuse
  • Reprisal (Military Whistleblower Protection)
  • Safety/Public Health (Substantial/Specific)
  • Systemic Problems
  • Time and Attendance (Significant Violations)
  • Travel Card Abuse
  • Travel Fraud (TDY and TAD)
  • Waste (Gross)

Naval Inspectors General reserve the right to decline to investigate any matter brought to our attention.  Generally, the Naval Inspector General refers complaints to the local Inspector General for review and resolution.

Many issues brought to the attention of the Inspector General  are not appropriate for an Inspector General investigation. Complainants are encouraged to review the list of complaints before filing a complaint with an Inspector General.
Anyone may file a hotline complaint.
Step 3
Prepare Your Hotline Complaint
Once you have determined the best method to address your complaint and have read over the complaint hotline FAQs, you should begin gathering the information you will need to answer the following questions:
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  • Who: Service member's or employee's full name, rank/grade, and duty station
  • What: Specific wrongdoing and why you believe the activity was misconduct, to include the rule, regulation or law you think they violated
  • Where: Location where the wrongdoing occurred
  • When: Specific dates and times
  • How much: estimated dollar loss
  • Why and how: Describe why and how you believe the individual perpetrated the offense
  • Review the Hotline Complaint Form for additional assistance in filing a complaint.

    Don't forget to include:

    • What you have done to try to resolve the issue
    • What you want the IG to do

    Remember, the more you help us the better we can assist you.

    Hotline Contact information
    Naval Sea Systems Command
    Attn: Inspector General
    1333 Isaac Hull Avenue, SE
    Washington Navy Yard, DC 20376


      Toll Free:
    1.800.356.8464
      Fax:
    202.781.4495
      Email:
    nssc_navseaighotline@navy.mil
    IG Action Request

    In order to properly respond to your complaint, please download the Inspector General Action Request (IGAR) below and email, fax or mail the document.

     

    IGAR FORM