DHS OIG Complaint Experience?

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Old Nov 14, 18, 12:15 pm
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DHS OIG Complaint Experience?

Hi, wondering if anyone has DHS OIG complaint experience?

Filed online complaint, received a very cryptic reply, rambling on about privacy laws and basically saying the complainant can't see "status updates, Reports of Investigation, or the final adjudication of those reports created as a result of their reporting."

Advises to file a FOIA for DHS/TSA records.

Called the DHS FOIA office, asked about need for a privacy waiver for information related to my case, and they stated that you need a certificate of information for myself, the victim, and all of the alleged violators at TSA (which I know won't happen, but would still be interesting to see their reply).
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Old Nov 14, 18, 12:22 pm
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You will never know what happened, if anything, unless you file a FOIA. DHS is the elusive black hole that scientist have been looking for.
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Old Nov 14, 18, 12:34 pm
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Originally Posted by Boggie Dog View Post
You will never know what happened, if anything, unless you file a FOIA. DHS is the elusive black hole that scientist have been looking for.
Absolutely!

Just wondering if any fellow FTers have been sucked into this information black hole?
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Old Nov 14, 18, 2:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Ysitincoach View Post
Hi, wondering if anyone has DHS OIG complaint experience?

Filed online complaint, received a very cryptic reply, rambling on about privacy laws and basically saying the complainant can't see "status updates, Reports of Investigation, or the final adjudication of those reports created as a result of their reporting."

Advises to file a FOIA for DHS/TSA records.

Called the DHS FOIA office, asked about need for a privacy waiver for information related to my case, and they stated that you need a certificate of information for myself, the victim, and all of the alleged violators at TSA (which I know won't happen, but would still be interesting to see their reply).
If you got an acknowledgment of receipt of your complaint, good for you!!!!! I was under the impression DHS had stopped doing that.

If DHS forwards the complaint to TSA, in several weeks you should get an e-mail from the TSA Office of Inspection to this effect: "Your complaint was received by TSA Investigations and has been assigned Hotline Number .....

We will investigate all credible allegations of employee criminal activity or misconduct. If the allegation does not constitute misconduct, we may elect to refer the allegation to senior management to address."

I have never followed up with an FOIA but have seen results from my complaints.
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Last edited by petaluma1; Nov 14, 18 at 2:09 pm
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Old Nov 14, 18, 4:03 pm
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I filed a OIG complaint a year or so ago. After a month, I got a call from someone who said he was in that office and had received the complaint. Asked a few general questions, assured me that the details in my complaint were disturbing and described unacceptable behavior. Then... nothing more. It just disappeared.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 4:47 pm
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What you want to do is also call your US congress people. Complain to them about whatever happened and ask if this is acceptable? Otherwise, TSA does not care
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Old Nov 15, 18, 5:24 pm
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Originally Posted by cubbie00 View Post
What you want to do is also call your US congress people. Complain to them about whatever happened and ask if this is acceptable? Otherwise, TSA does not care
Sadly I don't think many in congress are willing to stand up to TSA.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 6:01 pm
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Congress continues to throw money at the TSA problems, and TSA seems to get a kick out of opportunities to make very public issues with members of Congress at screening checkpoints.

Heres one agency full of blunders that really transcends politics and party lines.

Too many in Washington are fearful to go against TSA theater and be blamed for the next critical incident.
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Old Nov 15, 18, 6:37 pm
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Originally Posted by cubbie00 View Post
What you want to do is also call your US congress people. Complain to them about whatever happened and ask if this is acceptable? Otherwise, TSA does not care
Sadly, your expectation about the interest by US congress representatives and senators in this issue is woefully out of synchronization with reality. I have contacted all of my US "congress-critters" over the past 8 years. The response: "Anything for security." "TSA is doing an important job." "I believe you are overreacting to the TSA's policies." "< silence and change of subject >". And so on...

No one in congress is willing to take charge or responsibility for the monster they created. NONE.
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Old Nov 16, 18, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by cubbie00 View Post
What you want to do is also call your US congress people. Complain to them about whatever happened and ask if this is acceptable? Otherwise, TSA does not care

I'm sorry, can you clarify that statement, please? Are you actually suggesting that TSA cares what Congress says or asks? TSA has shown an *active* disregard for Congress. Has that changed in the last year or ten? What great news that would be!
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Old Nov 22, 18, 5:11 am
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FWIW, my own experience is that OIG is a black hole.

However, I'm interested in looking into this.

If you are willing to help me investigate, and
  1. have filed a complaint, FTCA claim, or the like about the TSA,
  2. with TSA, DHS, DHS OIG, or any other Federal entity; and
  3. are a US citizen (sorry, not my preference — it's a restriction in the law),
  4. are willing to sign my Privacy Act waiver (https://s.ai/foia/waiver) letting me get records about you
please email me at [email protected] with
  1. a signed PDF of the Privacy Act waiver linked above, filled out as explained below
  2. a forward of everything you sent (including any email headers), or your best copy
  3. a forward of everything you received from them
The waiver has several fields to complete in yellow. Most should be obvious —e.g. name, DOB, etc. (Again, these are required by law; I wouldn't ask if I didn't have to.) Use these fill-ins for the following:
  • "[relevant federal, state & local agencies]"
    • TSA and DHS
  • "[description of incident, related records, & how to identify - e.g. for video: description of yourself, clothing, baggage, etc; approx. time range and place; etc]."
    • for each complaint, add one separate line listing the
      • subject line of complaint (e.g. from email),
      • date sent,
      • recipient / sending method (e.g. email addresses or website URL), and
      • one-line summary of issue
  • "[agency PA regs - 6 C.F.R. 5.21(d) for DHS]"
    • 6 C.F.R. 5.21(d)
Delete these:
  • ", and analogous [state(s) where incident happened / records exist] law,"
  • " [state(s) FOI law(s)]"
  • "[evidence preservation demand if litigation contemplated by you; I may separately demand preservation if it’s relevant to my own litigation. See s.ai/foia/template for details.]"
I'll wait until I have several in hand so that I can file a single request for all of them at once, rather than doing it piecemeal.


ETA:

As always, I promise full confidentiality to the extent possible (e.g. I obviously have to tell TSA about the complaint to get info from them, and some information might get disclosed if it's litigated; I'll ask permission first if it's under my control).

TSOs: this offer applies to you, too.

I know a lot of you have filed OIG complaints and gotten blackholed. You might be surprised at how much … stimulus some external prodding can create, resulting in "totally coincidental and voluntary" responses to things that are otherwise buried.

And if you know about something you don't necessarily want to put your name to, I promise confidentiality to sources (aka "on background" per AP guidelines). Get in touch using a method listed as 'secure' @ https://s.ai/contact. I don't necessarily need (or want) to even know your name, so long as I can substantiate your credibility as a source.

Last edited by saizai; Nov 22, 18 at 5:34 am
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