IG Frequently Asked Questions
1) Can I be disciplined for contacting an IG?
No! Contact with an IG is a “protected communication.” A supervisor or employee who reprises against an employee for contacting an IG faces possible punishment for violation of the statutory prohibition against reprisal for Whistleblowing.
2) Can I see the IG during normal duty hours?
There are no preconditions for coming to the Inspector General for Assistance, however, during normal duty hours, military and Department of Defense (DoD) personnel must inform the chain of command that they are leaving their place of duty. They cannot just walk off the job and fail to inform their supervisors where they are going. After duty hours, they may go to the Inspector General without notifying their supervisors. Anyone, regardless of status, may make a complaint, allegation, or request for information or assistance to any Army IG concerning matters of Army interest.
3) What is a “third party complaint?”
Third-party complainants are individuals who provide a complaint on behalf of a soldier or civilian employee.
The Privacy Act prohibits the release of Privacy Act protected information to the third parties without the consent of the individual to whom the information pertains unless a Privacy Act exception applies that permits disclosure.
IG responses to third parties are direct in nature and simply acknowledge receipt of the complaint.
4) What types of complaints are NOT appropriate for the IG?
- Abuse of authority
- Fraud, Waste and Abuse
- Harassment (some types)
- Improper Mental Health referrals
- Misuse of supplies
- Non-compliance with Army Regulation or Air Force Instruction
- Process violations
- Whistleblower Reprisal/Restriction
5) What types of complaints are NOT appropriate for the IG?
- Criminal allegations
- Collective bargaining agreements
- Non-Army/Air Force related matters
- Equal Opportunity (EO) complaints
- Sexual harassment and sexual assault
- Hazardous work conditions
- Issues with other forms of redress
- Non-support of family members (the IG will notify Soldier’s commander and keep case open until deemed appropriate)
- Child custody / paternity cases
- Non-consent to release of information
- Complaints about creditors
- **If in doubt, ask the IG!**
6) Can I talk to an IG “off the record?”
Information provided to an IG is NEVER “off the record!”
7) Who can file an IG complaint?
If you have a concern and are unsure if you should file a complaint, contact your local IG office at (334) 271-7245 or e-mail CLICK HERE
Military Whistleblower Protection Act
The Military Whistleblower Protection Act protects members of the Armed Forces who report a violation of law or regulation, including sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, gross mismanagement, a gross waste of funds, an abuse of authority or a substantial or specific danger to public health or safety. The Act entitles service members to lawfully report waste, fraud and abuse without fear of restriction, reprisal or punitive actions. Click here to read the act’s specific guidelines and prohibitions.
Freedom Of Information Act
Since 1967, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) has provided the public the right to request access to records from any federal agency. It is often described as the law that keeps citizens in the know about their government. Federal agencies are required to disclose any information requested under the FOIA unless it falls under one of nine exemptions which protect interests such as personal privacy, national security, and law enforcement. Click Here to learn more about FOIA.