These programs are administered by the Federal Grain Inspection Service (FGIS), a program area within the Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). The United States Grain Standards Act (USGSA) and the Agricultural Marketing Act (AMA) regulations require that official personnel promptly report any violations of existing statutes, policies, procedures, or instructions. They shall report incidences that include:
- Program activities (e.g., handling, grain sampling, grading, weighing, etc.);
- Any conduct or incidents involving official personnel that could create the appearance of a loss of impartiality or adversely affect the public’s confidence in FGIS services.
Who can report a violation?
Any person can report to FGIS violations or suspected violations of provisions in the USGSA or AMA. There are specific reporting instructions that pertain to official agency personnel and FGIS employees.
- Licensed official agency personnel and warehouse samplers shall immediately report USGSA or AMA violations to their supervisor who shall report to the official agency manager.
- FGIS field office employees should immediately report USGSA or AMA violations to their supervisor at the FGIS field office.
- Licensees who know or suspect their supervisor(s) of violations or believe that their supervisor(s) will suppress or ignore their violation report, shall report such matters to the Quality Assurance and Compliance Division (QACD) using any of the provided reporting methods listed on this webpage.
- Official agency managers who receive reports or have knowledge about violations shall immediately notify the FGIS supervising field office.
- FGIS field office managers and headquarters personnel shall report any violations received to QACD.
What information should I provide?
To assess the violation as thoroughly as possible please provide as much information as possible. So far as practicable, the information shall include such of the following items as may be applicable:
- The name and address of each person and of the agent, if any, representing such person in the transaction involved;
- Place where the alleged violation occurred;
- Quantity and quality or grade of each kind of product or article involved;
- Date of alleged violation;
- Car initial and number, if carlot;
- Shipping and destination points;
- If a sale, the date, sale price, and amount actually received;
- If a consignment, the date, reported proceeds, gross, net;
- Amount of damage claimed, if any;
- statement of other material facts, including terms of contract; and
- So far as practicable, true copies of all available papers relating to the transaction complained about, including shipping documents, letters, telegrams, invoices, manifests, inspection certificates, accounts of sales and any special contracts or agreements.
Can a violation be reported anonymously?
Yes, reports can be submitted anonymously. If you do not provide your contact information, the Federal Grain Inspection Service will be unable to contact you regarding your complaint.
What happens after I submit a request?
The FGIS Quality Assurance and Compliance Division (QACD) will review the reported violation and determine how best to proceed.
Report a violation by:
- TOLL-FREE Number: 1-800-998-FGIS (3447)
- DC Local Number: (202) 720-0228
Reporting nonprogram activities
Reporting nonprogram activities to the USDA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) include but not limited to bribes, assaults, waste, fraud, and abuse. For more information, please visit the USDA OIG website.
- Bribes: FGIS and Official Agency personnel who are offered a bribe or believe that a bribe was offered to, solicited by, or accepted by another FGIS or Agency employee shall report this information along with threats, assaults, fraud, waste, and abuse directly to the USDA OIG Hotline or (800) 424-9121.
- Official personnel who encounter incidents of intimidation, opposition, resistance, harassment, or interference by interested parties during service delivery shall notify their respective official agency manager or/and field office manager. Depending on the circumstances, contacting the OIG for guidance may also be prudent.
- Assaults. An assault includes any crime threatened or committed against official personnel in connection to his, her, or their performance of official duties in accordance with provisions set forth in the USGSA or AMA. Official personnel shall report such incidents to their local law enforcement agency and to the appropriate OIG Special Agent-In-Charge (found here) for the geographical area where the offense took place.
- Assaults at a USDA Facility should also be reported to Federal Protective Services or general building security.
- Other Incidents: Other incidents shall be reported as follows:
- Official personnel should report violations that affect the integrity of any USDA program to OIG’s Whistleblower Hotline at (800) 424-9121. Management reprisal against whistle blowers is prohibited by law.
- Any conduct or incidents involving official personnel that could create the appearance of a loss of impartiality or adversely affect the public’s confidence in FGIS services shall be reported in accordance with the instructions on this webpage.
For additional information
- FGIS 9070.6 - Reporting Violations of the U.S. Grain Standards Act & The Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 (pdf)
- FGIS 9070.5 - Grain Handling Practices (pdf)
USDA, AMS, FGIS
Quality Assurance and Compliance Division
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-3614