JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, Va. –
The Inspector General’s Complaints Resolution Program dedicates time to resolving issues for all service members, family members, civilian employees, retirees, and other civilians who cannot resolve their issue within the chain of command thus enabling personnel to focus on their primary mission.
Operating as objective individuals, with knowledge of various resources, IG personnel aid service members in finding resolutions for their problems.
Acting as the “eyes and ears” for the base commander, the office investigates alleged violations of law, rule and regulation, violations of policy and Air Force Instructions (AFIs), fraud, waste and abuse of authority and safety issues that pose a substantial health risk to personnel.
“We look into issues that can potentially affect work productivity, safety and morale,” said U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Michael Garza, 633rd Air Base Wing Inspector General superintendent. “Hopefully, by investigating these matters, it prevents further problems, like accidents or loss of resources from occurring.”
Before an investigation begins, a thorough complaint analysis to determine the most effective course of action to resolve the complaint is conducted to determine if the complaint has a pre-existing appeal or grievance channel.
Not all complaints submitted will continue through the complaints resolution process, which has five distinct paths to resolve a complaint. These are transfer, refer, investigate, assist or dismiss.
Suppose a complaint is more appropriate for another IG office to process, it is transferred to that office for complaints resolution processing.
A referral means the complaint is determined to be a command-related issue or better suited for an agency with functional responsibility. Referrals are typically complete within 30 days. Referral agencies provide the Referral Completion Report of their findings of the inquiry or investigation to both the complainant and the IG office.
With investigations involving allegations of reprisal or restriction, Airmen have up to 365 days to file a complaint of reprisal to the IG. Restriction complaints do not have a pre-defined cut-off date.
Assists occur when the IG can provide the complainant with information or a solution to resolve their issue on their own.
In addition, dismissals are typically issues where the complainant did not provide the IG adequate evidence to support their allegation.
According to Garza, a good percentage of the issues presented to the IG have resolutions within the chain-of-command.
In this case, the IG asks complainants if they have attempted to resolve their issues within the chain-of-command.
Complainants are encouraged to present issues to their frontline supervisor or First Sergeant first, in an attempt to resolve the issue at the lowest level. If the chain-of-command has mishandled the issue, the IG will request evidence demonstrating their attempt and a complaint analysis begins.
“I encourage individuals if they see something, hear something, know something, do something. IG’s job is to enhance discipline, readiness and warfighting. We cannot do that without the help of individuals reporting violations. If we work as a team, we can provide a better environment for all,” Garza said.
To file a complaint or for questions, contact the 633rd Air Base Wing IG complaint hotline at (757) 764-5162 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.