A relationship of trust and confidence between employees of the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife and the communities that we serve is essential to the effective operation of state government. Agency employees must be free to exercise their best judgment in the performance of their duties. Agency employees also have a special obligation to respect the rights of all persons. The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife acknowledges its responsibility to establish a complaint system and procedures that not only will subject Inland Fisheries & Wildlife employees to corrective action when improper conduct has occurred, but that will also protect Inland Fisheries & Wildlife employees from unwarranted or spurious criticism when they discharge their duties properly. The purpose of these procedures is to provide prompt, just, and open disposition of complaints regarding the conduct of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife employees.
It is the policy of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to encourage the public to comment when the conduct of the employee is believed to be improper. The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife will make every effort to ensure that no adverse consequences occur to any person or witness as a result of having brought a complaint or for providing information concerning a complaint. Any Inland Fisheries & Wildlife employee who subjects a complainant or witness to such recrimination will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action.
- The Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife encourages the public to bring forward legitimate complaints regarding misconduct by its employees. To this end, a copy of "How to file a personnel complaint" will be posted at agency worksites and on agency websites and will be given to anyone requesting this information. A copy of this document is attached to this policy. Complaints, regardless of nature, can be lodged in person, by mail, or by telephone.
- Any employee of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife who receives a complaint on an agency employee, shall, as soon as practicable, notify Deb Phillips, HR Director, of the details of the complaint for evaluation and assignment.
- Upon receipt of a complaint, Deb Phillips, shall determine whether the complaint should be investigated and by whom. Complaints of criminal conduct should be forwarded to the Bureau of Employee Relations to ensure cooperation with appropriate law enforcement authorities.
- Investigations of complaints shall be completed within a reasonable time.
- It is the responsibility of the investigator to thoroughly and confidentially investigate the matter and, when appropriate, to submit a complete and accurate investigation report. In the event a report is warranted, all relevant information obtained by the investigator shall be included.
All investigations shall comply with the provisions of the applicable collective bargaining agreement.
- When applicable, the report shall include a summary of interviews with the complainant, synopsis, finding(s) of fact, chronology of the investigation, and documentation of compliance with the employee's contractual rights.
- Recommendations regarding the disposition of an investigation or discipline generally are not included in the investigation report. Such recommendations should only be included in consultation with the appointing authority.
D. Notification to the Complainant
- Upon final disposition, the complainant will be notified that the department has taken appropriate action.
E. Administrative Responsibilities
- IF&W's Personnel Officer shall ensure that:
- All citizen complaint records and investigations remain confidential as allowed or required by statute; and
- Each complaint and corresponding investigation is documented.
- An annual summary report is prepared for the agency head that includes statistical data that will aid in identifying the possible need for training, supervision, or other pertinent issues.
If you wish to make a complaint about the actions of an employee of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, please contact Deb Phillips, HR Director, at (207) 287-4925 and tell her that you wish to file a complaint.
Written complaints should be mailed to: Deb Phillips, HR Director, Natural Resource Service Center, 155 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0155. The report should identify yourself and contain specific details about your complaint.
The receipt of your complaint will be formally acknowledged in writing.
Your complaint will then be investigated. You may be contacted to provide additional information about your complaint.
The investigation will be handled as expeditiously as possible.
When the investigation of your complaint has been completed, the Commissioner will review the findings and you will receive a written explanation of the final disposition of the matter, within the limits of confidentiality laws.