Frequently Asked Questions
1. Who may use the Hotline?
Anyone may file a hotline complaint.
2. What issues should you report to the Hotline?
Any Fraud Waste Abuse or Mismanagement (FWA&M) and violations of law, regulations, Service instructions, directives or policy should be reported through the appropriate grievance channels. The subject of your complaint must be a Marine Corps office, program, or person. The IG investigates matters involving:
• Abuse of Title or Position
• Bribes/Kickbacks/Acceptance of Gratuities
• Conflicts of Interest
• Ethics Violations
• False Official Statements/Claims
• 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
• 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 office of the Inspector General for Marine Corps Matters refers complaints to the local Command Inspectors for review and resolution.
3. What other avenues of redress are available to resolve complaints?
We have provided a list of common complaints presented to the IG and the Command Inspectors. Many of the issues on the list do not fall under the purview of the Inspector General, so we have included referral information to assist you in determining the best method to address your issue. We suggest you review the list before filing a complaint with a Command Inspector General. Other Avenues.
4. How do you submit a hotline complaint?
We encourage you to submit your complaint in writing by e-mail via email@example.com. You may also submit your complaint through official mail or fax. 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.
5. Do you have to identify yourself?
No. You may request confidentiality or anonymity. You have two options when you request your identity remain confidential:
•Release your identity to the IG/Command Inspector General with the understanding that it will not be released to the investigator, or
•Identify yourself with the understanding that only the IG/Command 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.
6. Does the IG take telephone complaints?
We will provide you assistance if you contact a Command Inspector General by telephone. However, 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 IG conducts an investigation, you will be contacted for an interview.
7. Is there a time limit to file a complaint?
Generally, you should submit your complaint immediately. No IG action is required when a complaint is submitted more than 90 days after the alleged wrongdoing occurred. However, we will consider complaints beyond that date if it is within the interest of the United States Marine Corps to do so.
8. What can you expect when you file a hotline complaint?
•The IG 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.
•Don't expect instant action on your request... be patient.
9. What does the IG expect from someone who makes a complaint to the hotline?
The IG expects you to provide answers to the questions listed on Step 3. Remember, the more information you provide the IG, the better he/she can assist you. Be prepared to provide supporting evidence.
10. Do we guarantee we will conduct an investigation?
Generally, the office of the Inspector General for Marine Corps Matters and the local Command Inspectors do not accept a complaint if:
(1) As stated above, you do not submit your complaint within 90 days ;
(2) You have not addressed your issue with the local command;
(3) 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.;
(4) Another investigation is being conducted into the matter. (Congressional Inquiry, etc.)
11. How long does it take to investigate a complaint?
Most investigations are completed within 90 days, but can take longer depending on the complexity of the case.
12. How do you determine the status of your complaint or obtain a copy of the report?
Contact the IG 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 IG 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 IG office that conducted the investigation to obtain a copy of the report.
13. If you do not agree with the results of the investigation, can you ask for reconsideration?
Yes. If you have new and substantial 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 IG will not conduct another investigation.