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Complaints Against the Government

Learn how to file a complaint to your federal or local government and its agencies.

File a Complaint About a Law Enforcement Officer or Judge

You can file complaints about misconduct by law enforcement officers and by judges.

Complaints About Police Officers

If you have experienced police misconduct:

  • Contact the law enforcement agency involved.
  • Submit your complaint in writing to the chief of police or the head of the law enforcement agency involved.
  • Send a copy of your complaint to the Internal Affairs Division of the law enforcement agency. Be sure to keep a copy for yourself.

If the problem remains unresolved, learn how to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Civil Rights Division.

Finally, as with any potential legal dispute, you may want to contact a licensed attorney.

Complaints Against Judges

Federal Judges

Learn how to file a complaint about a federal judge. You can report alleged misconduct or disability that interferes with their ability to perform their duties.

State and Local Judges

The rules for filing complaints about state and local judges vary by state.

To complain about a state judge, contact your state's commission on judicial conduct. It may be listed under state agencies on your state government web site

File a Complaint About Federal Government Contracts

There are many government contracting regulations in place that provide alternatives when issues occur, including disputes and protests. 

Disputes

The contracting officer (CO) assigned to a specific contract must first address any questions about the terms and conditions of that contract. If there is a disagreement between the CO and the contractor based on different interpretations of a contract, the contract itself will offer information on how to resolve disputes. Disputes are issues or disagreements between the contractor and contracting officer that arise after contract award. Disputes claims must be made in writing to the contracting officer. 

Bid Protests

Protests are made when you want to challenge the award or proposed award of a contract for procurement of goods and services or challenge the terms of a solicitation for a contract. It is always preferable to resolve issues at the contracting agency level. If not resolved, you can file a bid protest with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Keep in mind, there are strict filing deadlines and bid protest regulations

Discrimination Complaint

If you have a complaint about employment discrimination associated with a federal government contract, you can file a discrimination complaint or contact your regional or district office of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Report Misuse of Federal Funds

If you want to report allegations of fraud, waste, abuse or mismanagement of federal funds, file a report with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO).

File a Complaint Against a Federal or State Government Agency

Learn how to file a complaint against a state or federal government agency.

Federal Government Agencies

To file a complaint against a federal agency:

  1. First, contact the agency directly. View an A-Z index of federal agencies.
  2. If you are unable to resolve an issue with a federal government agency, contact the office of the Inspector General (IG) of that agency.

State Government Agencies

To file a complaint against a state, local or tribal government agency, contact the agency directly. View state or territorial government websites.

Additional Assistance

You can also contact your congressional representative's constituent services office in your district:

File a Complaint with the U.S. Postal Service

Do you have a complaint, compliment, or suggestion for the U.S. Postal Service (USPS)? Maybe you’re looking for more information about USPS’s services. There are several ways to let them know:

  • Use the USPS website’s Email Us form. Select an inquiry type that most closely relates to the complaint or question that you have. On the website, you can also file a claim or request a refund for shipping.

  • Call 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) or TTY: 1-800-877-8339.

  • Speak to the station manager (postmaster) at a local post office.

  • Write to the U.S.  Postal Service’s Consumer Advocate office at:

United States Postal Service

Office of the Consumer Advocate

475 L’ Enfant Plaza, SW

Washington, D.C. 20260-2200

Theft, Fraud, or Waste by the USPS or a USPS Employee

File a complaint with the USPS Office of the Inspector General (OIG) by:

Mail Fraud or Theft by a Person or Company

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is the federal law enforcement agency that protects the mail system. Contact them to report:

Comment or Complain About a Policy Change

To comment or complain about a major policy change, such as postage rates, contact the Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC). You can do so by using their online contact form.

Government Vehicle Involved in an Accident

If you were involved in an accident with a government vehicle, the following information may help:

  • Report vehicle damage to 1-866-400-0411 between 7:00 AM  and 8:00 PM  ET.

  • Report vehicle damage to Wright Express (WEX) at 1-866-939-4472 after hours or if the maintenance is under $100.

  • Contact the Accident Management Center (AMC) for assistance.

  • Report the accident to the local police (where the incident took place).

Report Government Vehicle Misuse or Reckless Driving

To report the misuse or reckless driving of a government vehicle, email howsmydriving@gsa.gov. Provide the following information:

  • Date of the incident

  • Time of the incident

  • Location of alleged misuse

  • Activity that is the cause of your concern

  • License Plate (EX: GXX-XXXXX for GSA owned vehicles)

    • GSA leased vehicles all have license plates that have the following structure (GXX-XXXXX).  If the license plate does not begin with a G, then it is not owned by GSA. But if the license plate follows the approved license plate codes for federal agencies, GSA can forward the report to the correct agency. 

Other helpful information includes:

  • Description of vehicle (color, vehicle type, make/model, etc)

  • Description of driver and passengers

  • Any pictures or video of the incident

Suing the Federal Government

To bring legal action against a federal agency, you must begin by contacting the agency directly. The agency will provide you with information and forms, and attempt to settle the problem in-house.  

If you decide to move forward with a lawsuit (tort claim), you should obtain a Standard Form 95 (SF-95) - Claim for Damage, Injury, or Death.

While you do not have to use a SF-95 form to file a claim, it is a convenient format for supplying the information necessary to process a claim. For more information about this process, contact the Tort Branch of the Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Civil Division

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Last Updated: November 16, 2020

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