What is an IG?

  • Published
  • By Col. Charles A. Hurry
  • 934th Airlift Wing Inspector General
If it's wrong, let's make it right. It sounds simple enough, but what does that mean in practical terms? Well, the primary job of the Inspector General is to "sustain a credible Air Force IG system by ensuring the existence of responsive complaint investigations, and FWA programs characterized by objectivity, integrity, and impartiality while ensuring the concerns of Air Force active-duty, Reserve, and Guard members, civilian employees, family members, retirees, and the best interests of the Air Force are addressed through objective fact finding." Whew, what a mouthful! Let's boil it down a little.

Two wrongs don't make a right
The Installation IG's job is to shine a spotlight on issues that are wrong so that solutions can be found. This is limited, however, to wrongs involving a violation of regulation, policy, or law. Wrongs of morality or fairness are beyond the scope of the IG complaint system.

The eyes have it
IGs are the "eyes and ears" of the commander. They keep the commander informed of potential areas of concern as reflected by trends. They function as the fact-finder and honest broker in the resolution of complaints. They educate and train commanders and members of the base population on their rights and responsibilities in regard to the Air Force IG system. And, they help commanders prevent, detect, and correct fraud waste and abuse or mismanagement. IG complaints and FWA disclosures help commanders discover and correct problems that affect productivity and morale. Resolving the underlying cause of a complaint may prevent more severe symptoms or costly consequences, such as reduced performance, accidents, poor quality work, poor morale, or loss of resources. Even if an allegation is not substantiated, the evidence or investigation findings may reveal problems with morale or identify other roadblocks to efficiency and mission effectiveness.

All are welcome
Anyone can file a complaint or express a concern at any level in the IG system and not worry about retribution or intimidation. While an individual can speak to an IG at any level, experience has shown that complaints are best resolved by local commanders and supervisors. For this reason, although it is not required, Airmen are encouraged to discuss their problems or concerns with their immediate supervisor or commander before coming to the IG.

Lastly, please remember, the IG is deliberately not listed in the leadership staff. We do not have command authority. We do not judge nor do we act as an arbiter of justice. We do provide an unbiased and impartial report of facts to the appropriate level of command. Ultimately we simply shine the light of day on problems so all the men and women of good conscience in the Air Force can do the right thing.