4-Step Hotline Procedures

Commander, Navy Installations Command (CNIC) Headquarters and CNIC's Regional Inspector General Offices all have a designated Hotline Program to provide an opportunity to report significant cases of fraud, waste, and mismanagement.

Before you begin:  Before filing a complaint with a CNIC HQ or one of CNIC’s Regional Inspector General Offices, please review the 4 categories below to ensure the hotline is the appropriate process to resolve your issue.
 

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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).

  4. If you are requesting assistance with dependent/former dependent financial support, please contact your local Region Legal Service Office regarding dependent support.

If none of the above apply to you, review the following 4-Step Hotline Complaint Procedures to determine if you should file a complaint.

Steps

STEP 1: BEST METHOD TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE

1.  CHAIN OF COMMAND

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.

First, 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 complainant's 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 2nd level supervisor

  • Commanding Officer

  • Local Human Resource Office

  • Human Resource Office or Human Resource Service Center

   

2. FORMAL GRIEVANCE

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 DoD IG or the Naval Inspector General.

   
Navy Federal 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: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q:  What is the purpose of the Hotline Program?

A:  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 IG, any improprieties in this regard.

Q:  Who may use the Hotline?

A:  Anyone can file a hotline complaint.

Q:  Is there a time limit to file a complaint?

A:  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.

Q:  What issues should you report to the Hotline? 

A:  You should report any issue listed below to your local IG.  Report minor violations to your chain of command.   (Note:  The IG reserves the right to decline to investigate any matter brought to our attention.)

Review the list of matters appropriate for the IG: 

  • Abuse of Authority/Position

  • Bribes/Kickbacks/Acceptance of Gratuities

  • Conflicts of Interests

  • Ethics Violations

  • Fraud/ Travel Fraud (TDY and TAD)

  • Gifts (Improper)

  • Improper Referral for Mental Health Evals

  • Mismanagement (Significant Cases)

  • Misuse of Official Time, Gov’t Property, Position and Public Office

  • Political Activities

  • Procurement Issues

  • Purchase Card/Travel Card Abuse

  • Reprisal (Military Whistleblower Protection)

  • Safety/Public Health (Substantial/Specific)

  • Systemic Problems

  • Time and Attendance (Significant Violations)

  • Waste (Gross)

Q:  Can I remain anonymous or request confidentiality?

A:  You may remain anonymous, but we will not be able to contact you for more information. You may request confidentiality.  The IG will make every effort to prevent disclosure of your identity, but we cannot guarantee confidentiality.

Q  How do you submit a hotline complaint?

A:  We encourage you to submit the allegation(s) in writing by 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.

Q:  How do you determine the status of your investigation or obtain a copy of the report?

A:  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.

STEP 3: PREPARE YOUR COMPLAINT

Gather information you will need to submit your complaint.  An IG will ask you the questions below:

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.

What you have done to try to resolve the issue.

What you want the IG to do.

Remember, the more detailed information you provide the better we can assist you.

STEP 4: CONTACT AN INSPECTOR GENERAL

Your local Inspector General (IG) should be your first point of contact if you are considering filing a hotline complaint. You should not file a complaint with more than one IG office.

View the Contact a CNIC / Region Inspector General tab for a listing of IG offices.  Select the IG office that supports your command to view the options for filing a complaint to include an online complaint submission form.  If you are not sure where to file, you may submit your complaint to Commander, Navy Installations Command IG.  The CNIC IG office will evaluate your complaint to determine the course of action and forward your complaint to the appropriate IG office.  Upon submitting a complaint, you will receive confirmation.


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