Robins IG sees sharp decline in complaints Published Nov. 24, 2009 By Tech. Sgt. Vann Miller 78th ABW/PA ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- The comedic actress Lily Tomlin once said, "Man invented language to satisfy his deep need to complain." But a group of professionals at Robins have used skillful language to aid in effectively reducing complaints. The number of complaints here has been reduced by 33 percent through improved programs implemented by the 78th Air Base Wing's Inspector General Office. Col. John Cote, the inspector general, has been on the job since June and said he believes in helping out where he can. One of the IG improvements that may have curbed the total number of complaints filed was the enhancement of the IG Publicity and Education Program. This program was modified to include the briefing of civilian employees during the base newcomers program. This gives new civilian employees an overview of the inspector general program and stresses the importance of utilizing the chain of command. "I am the inspector general, and everyone has the right to speak with me," Cote said. "However, using the chain of command for complaint resolution is one of the most efficient ways to handle your issues. If that fails then the Inspector General Office is ready and willing to assist." The IG noted that prior to these program enhancements, the main complaint area had been supervisory issues, typically employees complaining about their supervisors. In most cases the chain of command had not been fully utilized by the complainants to find resolution. Other changes the colonel implemented include a reduction in the amount of internal staff meetings, the introduction of security improvements and the functional reconfiguration of the congressional liaison office. All of the new measures have amounted to a practical way of handling all types of complaints, providing a valuable service to the community within applicable guidelines. While many of the complaints received by the Inspector General's office are related to traditional military complaint issues, there are also a number of civilian employees and contractors that visit the IG office seeking assistance for various issues they may be having. By regulation the IG office can only refer these individuals to other appropriate agencies that can actually help solve their problems. But the IG office never turns anyone away that asks for assistance. If they cannot provide it, they help find someone who can. For more information about the IG program, or for detailed instructions for initiating a complaint, call 222-0818.