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DoD OIG can only accept UNCLASSIFIED complaints on this website.

However, instructions for submitting a classified complaint are contained on this website. 
Visit the Classified Complaints page for more information.

The Department of Defense Hotline - Read Before Filing

What to Expect After Filing a Complaint

If you have disclosed your identity to the DoD Hotline, you may contact our office to request status.  However, the only information that will be disclosed is open or closed status.  If you did not provide your full name at the time of your complaint filing, or any other contact information, you will not be given any information regarding the complaint, including confirmation of its existence.  This is to protect the confidential status of all complaint filings. 

Here are some points regarding what to expect after you file a Hotline complaint: 

  • Unless you are contacted directly by one of our investigators, there will be no communication from our office, outside of correspondence which may advise you that your matter has been referred to the cognizant Department of Defense entity for appropriate action, where and if applicable.
  • If you can verify yourself as the individual that filed the complaint in reference, you may contact the DoD Hotline to check upon the 'open' or 'closed' status of your complaint.  No other details regarding the complaint will be given.
  • Federal regulations prohibit the disclosure of information contained in investigative and law enforcement records, even to the individual submitting the allegation.
  • Our office will NOT provide to anyone, including the source of the complaint, with the status of action(s) taken on any allegation.  This includes details pertaining to the processing of your complaint.  The information you provide will be handled according to our internal policies and guidelines, and appropriate action will be taken, as determined.
  • Once a file is closed, results may be requested under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).  For information regarding how to submit a FOIA request, click here.

Contact your Local Inspector General First

For matters not under the sole purview of the Department of Defense Hotline, a more expeditious route towards resolution of your problem would best be served by first contacting your local, command, service, or agency Inspector General. In instances, your local Inspector General has direct cognizance, purview, and oversight over programs, personnel, and operations regarding your complaint. In addition to receiving your complaint, your local Inspector General will also be able to guide you to other channels of resolution, where appropriate.


Matters Which May Be Resolved Via Different Channels

Certain matters may be better resolved through other channels, instead of the DoD Hotline. The following matters are NOT generally investigated by the Department of Defense Inspector General.

For your convenience and reference, we have provided referral information to the appropriate channels via the links below. Please select any of the topics to learn where to appropriately direct your complaint.

For additional recommendations to more commonly asked questions and requests for assistance, please visit our 'Frequently Asked Questions' page.

Confidentiality and Privacy

Consistent with the requirements of the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, it is DoD Hotline policy that Hotline Personnel will not disclose the identity of an individual providing a complaint or information to the DoD Hotline unless the individual consents to such disclosure, or the DoD Hotline Director has determined that such disclosure is otherwise unavoidable in order to address the complaint.  Such circumstances may include a matter involving a specific danger to health, safety, or national security.

You are not required to identify yourself when submitting a DoD Hotline complaint.  In addition to filing anonymously (where you do not give the DoD Hotline any identifying information), you may also indicate your election of consent or non-consent to disclosure. View the DoD Hotline 'Consent to Certain Disclosures of Information' form.


When providing consent to the disclosure of your identity outside of the DoD Hotline, disclosure is provided only on a "need-to-know" basis to organizations or other investigative personnel necessary to complete the inquiry into your allegations and to effectuate corrective actions, if any. Sometimes it is beneficial for those investigative personnel tasked to look into the matter to be able to clarify or obtain additional information from the source of the complaint.  In these cases such consent would aid the investigative process. 


You have two options when you do not provide consent to disclosure of your identity:

  • Release your identity to the DoD OIG only, via DoD Hotline personnel, with the understanding that your information will not be released to anyone outside of the DoD Hotline, to include other investigating officials outside of the DoD Hotline, who may be assigned to look into your matter;


  • Identify yourself with the understanding that only the DoD OIG, via DoD Hotline personnel, and the tasked investigator, who may be outside of the DoD Hotline, will know who you are.

If you do not consent to disclosure of your identity, the DoD Hotline 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. Regardless of the consent disclosure choice you elect (consent or non-consent), your identity may be disclosed if required by applicable legal authority, or the Director, DoD Hotline, determines that such disclosure is otherwise unavoidable to address the matters contained in the complaint.  Such circumstances may include a matter involving a specific danger to health, safety, or a national security issue.


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 open or closed status of the investigation.  If you have established a temporary e-mail account to submit an anonymous complaint, without any other identifying or contact information, the DoD Hotline will not provide a response, as we have no method of verifying your identity. If you elect anonymity, without providing any contact information, you will be unable to request confirmation of receipt of this complaint to the DoD Hotline, or to receive advisements as to "Open" or "Closed" status.


By using the on-line complaint form, or sending your complaint via e-mail, you acknowledge that your privacy is not guaranteed because your complaint will not be encrypted over your internet connection. If you are not comfortable submitting your complaint online, use the methods prescribed above (submit by postal mail or facsimile).


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