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Inspector General

How To File an IG Complaint with the Merit Systems Protection Board

Anyone who suspects that any member of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) staff has committed fraud, waste, abuse, gross mismanagement or engaged in conduct that presents a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety involving MSPB programs or activities should contact the MSPB Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The OGC is charged with performing the investigative functions for the Merit Systems Protection Board as required by the Inspector General Act of 1978 (the IG Act), Chapter 4 of Title 5 of the United States Code.

Complaints may be made in person, or by mail, telephone, or email. Please refer to the following contact information:

In Person and Postal Mail: U. S. Merit Systems Protection Board, 1615 M Street NW, Washington, DC   20419
Telephone: (888) 841-1308 (Toll-free Hotline – Voice Mail only)

When filing a complaint, a Complainant should convey as much detail as possible on the matter, including the identity of the person(s) alleged to have engaged in the prohibited activity; a sufficient description of the alleged activity or conduct; when and where the activity or incident occurred; and why the informant or complainant believes that the activity or conduct constitutes fraud, waste, abuse, gross mismanagement or a substantial and specific danger to public health or safety. The identity of and contact information for other witnesses would also be helpful.

NOTE: The IG complaint process should not be used in place of established statutory, administrative, or regulatory procedures applicable to discrimination complaints, grievances, or appeals of personnel actions, i.e., complaints about the exercise of judicial discretion by administrative judges (AJs) or the Board, or the outcome of particular cases before administrative judges or the Board, are subject to established administrative and judicial appellate procedures, and therefore usually are not appropriate for investigation.

Confidentiality Information - The identity of Complainants is protected under the provisions of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the Inspector General Act of 1978.

The Complainant's identity may remain confidential (i.e., known only to the MSPB OGC/IG), or anonymous (i.e., unknown even to the MSPB OGC/IG). However, if a Complainant chooses not provide contact information, we cannot obtain additional information regarding the allegation(s) from the Complainant (e.g., testimonial or documentary evidence or identity of witnesses), and cannot inform the Complainant as to what action MSPB has taken on the complaint. Confidential status allows for further communication between OGC/IG and the Complainant after the original complaint is received. Of course, a Complainant may permit their identity to be known by all parties involved in the IG matter and allow their name to be used at the outset and throughout the process (i.e., included in any investigation that may take place).

The OGC is prohibited from disclosing the identity of the employee without the consent of the employee unless the IG determines such disclosure is unavoidable during the course of the investigation. The Whistleblower Protection Act prohibits disclosure of a complainant's identity unless the Special Counsel determines that the disclosure of the individual's identity is necessary because of an imminent danger to public health or safety or imminent violation of any criminal law. (see 5 U.S.C. § 407(b))

Limits on Protection against Retaliation - The statutory protection against reprisal for making a complaint or disclosing information to an Inspector General does not apply when a complaint is made or the information is disclosed with the knowledge that it was false or with willful disregard for its truth or falsity.