DoD

November 14, 2013

IG hotline reports spike in complaints

Nick Simeone
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON – Complaints to the Defense Department’s inspector general hotline have climbed by 125 percent over the past four years, a senior official in the office said, and the cases include everything from abuse in the workplace to the multi-million-dollar contracting investigation now underway within the upper reaches of the Navy.

“We are marketing and branding and making ourselves more accessible, and the trend is we’re getting a lot more complaints nowadays than we were a few years ago,” DOD Hotline Director Patrick Gookin told reporters at a Pentagon briefing today, called to highlight the hotline’s efficiency and not to discuss specific cases.

Some 31,000 contacts were made to the hotline in fiscal year 2013, a sharp increase from the preceding years. “We referred last year 4,862 cases,” Gookin said.

Prominent investigations that have made national headlines over the past few years began from someone contacting the DOD hotline, which takes in all complaints and refers them to the appropriate agency or department for inquiry, he said.

In addition to the ongoing Navy contracting case, they include the 2010 investigation into mismanagement at Arlington National Cemetery, sexual abuse at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, as well as the 2011 probe into improper handling of remains of the nation’s war dead at Dover Air Force Base, Del.

The purpose of the hotline is to provide a confidential and reliable means to report critical issues affecting DOD property, programs and operations, with special emphasis on matters affecting life, safety and readiness. The identities of those reporting alleged wrongdoing is protected unless there is a compelling reason not to protect that information, Gookin said. Email is no longer used; most complaints are made online. Any complaints made by phone are not recorded. The inspector general’s office can release results of an investigation only through a request made under the Freedom of Information Act.

“All intel matters are priority one,” Gookin said in response to a question about how his office would have dealt with former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden if, instead of leaking classified documents to the media, he had brought his complaint about alleged abuses at the agency to the inspector general’s office.

“He had every opportunity to go through us rather than what he did,” Gookin said, adding that “those complaints would have been the highest priority we could have ever had in our hotline that I could think of.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
(U.S. Air Force Photo by 2nd Lt. Lacey Roberts)

Arizona Airmen memorialize fallen Iraqi fighter pilot

Members of the Arizona Air National Guard’s 162nd Wing honored the life and memory of Iraqi Air Force Brig. Gen. Rasid Mohammed Sideeq Hasan during a memorial service here July 7. Hasan died June 24 after his F-16 Fighting Fa...
 
 

Deployed A-10s take to the skies

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Christopher Ruano) An aircraft maintainer assigned to the 354th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron inspects the oil levels of an A-10 Thunderbolt II attack aircraft engine during a theater security package deployment to Lask Air Base, Poland, July 13. The U.S. and Polish air forces will conduct training aimed at...
 
 

Airmen leverage TFI concept

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. – Thirty-eight service members, including individuals from the 944th Civil Engineer Squadron explosive ordnance disposal section, participated in a Battlefield Forensics training course here at the end of June. Together, Senior Master Sgt. Stephen Hunter, 944th Civil Engineer Squadron EOD program manager and Joshua Nason, General Dynamics Information Technology ...
 

 

Celebration and education; Equal Opportunity

  In 1948, Ester Blake became the first enlisted female in the U.S. Air Force, pictures were still black and white, and families gathered around radios for the evening news. Since then, the U.S. Air Force has gone through many changes. The Davis-Monthan Equal Opportunity office specializes in making sure that everyone is treated equally...
 
 
DoD

Final rule puts more teeth into Military Lending Act

  WASHINGTON – The Defense Department today closed loopholes to protect U.S. men and women in uniform from predatory lending practices, President Barack Obama said this morning at the 116th Veterans of Foreign Wars National Convention in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The heightened level of financial and consumer-rights protection against unscrupulous practices, called the final rule of...
 
 

AF continues to work with DOD, OPM on cybersecurity incident

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — The Air Force maintains its commitment to protect personal information from cyber threats by continuing efforts with the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management to assist those impacted by the recent cyber incident involving federal background investigation data. OPM and an interagency response team, including investigators from the FBI and...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>