Complaint Investigation and Resolution
It is the policy of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) to courteously receive and to investigate complaints concerning its policies and employees. TPWD employees should consult the Personnel Manual for further employee guidance.
Any person expressing a desire to file a formal complaint against a TPWD employee or concerning a TPWD action should submit a written complaint to the Executive Office, Office of Internal Affairs. Complainants are urged to use the general Complaint Form PWD-185 (PDF 222.8 KB) (see How to File a Complaint) when filing formal complaints. This form will be used by Internal Affairs staff to record and formalize oral complaints made to the office. If sufficient information to constitute a formal complaint is contained in a written document signed by the complainant, it may be accepted in place of the PWD-185.
The formal complaint should include as much detail as possible regarding the alleged improper action, including reference to the specific TPWD policy, rule, law, or regulation that may have been violated.
Any written complaint received from a non-employee by any TPWD employee will be referred directly to the Office of Internal Affairs.
A person refusing to make a written complaint or who makes an anonymous complaint does not necessarily prevent an investigation from being initiated on the facts provided but does cause the matter to be more difficult to process to an effective conclusion.
Internal Affairs will maintain a complaint log to track the filing and disposition of formal complaints. The complainant and the employee will be given written notification of the outcome of the investigation. If the process is not complete within 90 days, a status notification will be sent to both the complainant and the employee quarterly until the case is closed.
The Director of Human Resources and the appropriate Division Director will review all allegations directly involving employees with the Director of Internal Affairs. The Office of Internal Affairs will normally conduct the investigation if this assessment results in a determination that the allegations, if found to be true, would result in a reasonable likelihood of prosecution that:
- could result in a conviction of an offense under either the Penal Code, or the Parks and Wildlife Code at or above the class B misdemeanor level or
- could result in a conviction under either the Penal Code or the Parks and Wildlife Code at the class C misdemeanor level if that conviction would prevent the continuation of TPWD duties.
Potential convictions under federal criminal statutes will be reviewed under analogous standards.
Special investigations by the Office of Internal Affairs may be authorized by the Executive Director as being in the best interests of TPWD. Generally, this will occur when it appears the presenting circumstances would be best addressed by the special skills of an Internal Affairs investigator rather than a line or general management employee. The Executive Management will be involved in helping to make these decisions to the extent practical and appropriate.
Other complaints filed by non-employees will be forwarded to the appropriate Division Director for a prompt, timely response that appropriately addresses the concerns raised by the citizen.
All complaints of employee misconduct will be courteously received and carefully evaluated to determine whether the allegations are valid or invalid and to determine the appropriate response.
Whenever a complainant or other involved party deliberately gives false information in the complaint or during the course of a formal complaint investigation or other administrative inquiry, this information will be presented to the Directors of Human Resources and Internal Affairs who will evaluate the information presented and make a recommendation to the Senior Directors and/or Executive Director. The recommendation will include suggestions for appropriate response including presentation of the case to the appropriate prosecutor under the appropriate Texas statutes.
A complainant who expresses the desire to withdraw the complaint, specifically saying that he or she has no desire to pursue the complaint further, will be asked to make the request in writing. When a complaint has been withdrawn the Internal Affairs Director shall determine after consultation with the Executive Director whether the investigation should continue.
You can contact the Office of Internal Affairs at:
Texas Parks and Wildlife
Executive Office/Office of Internal Affairs
4200 Smith School Road
Austin, TX 78744
Phone: (512) 389-4440