# 2011-131 - Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), Temporary Dual Residence Assistance (TDRA)

Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), Temporary Dual Residence Assistance (TDRA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2012–02–08

While on imposed restriction (IR), the grievor officially separated from his spouse and decided to sell his principal residence. In November 2010, the grievor’s house was appraised as having a market value of $402,500 and the appraisal report recommended a listing price of $413,900.

In early January 2011, the grievor was removed from IR and listed his house on the market for $414,000. He was initially deemed eligible for temporary dual residence assistance (TDRA) and received an advance for free single quarters (SQ). On 13 January 2011, the grievor’s Brookfield Global Relocation Services consultant advised him that to claim TDRA under the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP), the listing price of the home could not be higher than the appraised value; this was said to be pursuant to the CF IRP 2010 Clarification Bulletin #4. As a result, the grievor was advised that the TDRA funds previously advanced would need to be recovered unless there was a change in listing agreement. However, the house had sold the day prior for $405,000.

In February 2011, the grievor requested adjudication from the Director Compensation and Benefits (Administration) (DCBA). In August 2011, the DCBA responded, denying the grievor’s request and explaining that the grievor had failed to list his home for the appraised value as required by the CF IRP 2010 Bulletin #4. The grievor submitted a grievance in September 2011.

The grievor contested the recovery action, arguing that he had actively and aggressively marketed the house in accordance with the spirit of the CF IRP. The grievor stated that he listed his home for $414,000 and it sold for $405,000 one week later. He argued that these prices were in line with the appraised value of $402,500. The grievor further argued that the appraisal report stated that he should list the house for $414,000 in order to achieve the appraised value of $402,500. He noted the inconsistency in being provided with an appraisal that sets out a marketing plan, only to be told that he should not follow that plan. He also stated that the Clarification Bulletin was not readily available to members reading the CF IRP and that this provision forces members to intentionally take a loss on the equity of his/her house in order to qualify for TDRA during a move. As redress, the grievor requested reimbursement of his expenses incurred in occupying SQ.

There was no initial authority (IA) decision on this file since the grievor refused an IA request for a 180-day extension to adjudicate the grievance.

The Board was of the view that the Clarification Bulletins should only be used to actually clarify potentially confusing articles of the CF IRP, not, as in this case, to specifically change the definition of “actively marketed” in a very significant and questionable manner. Further, the Board found that the Clarification Bulletin #4 had not been approved by the Treasury Board and therefore had no bearing on the grievor’s entitlement to TDRA.

The Board found that the grievor was entitled to TDRA as he met the criteria pursuant to the article 1.4 of the CF IRP which defined his home his home as having been actively marketed.

The Board recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff uphold the grievance.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2013–09–27

The CDS agreed with the Board's findings and recommendation that the grievance be upheld. The CDS was satisfied that the grievor's residence was “actively marketed” in accordance with the CF IRP 2009 from the date it was listed for sale. The Clarification Bulletin 2010-4, not approved by Treasury Board, added the requirement that the listing price does not exceed the appraised value, which was not in the CF IRP 2009.

The CDS noted that the grievor's case may not be unique, and directed that DGCB / DCBA remove the Clarification Bulletin 2012-4 from circulation and that a review of relocation files from May 2010 be conducted to identify members who were improperly denied TDRA benefits. The CDS also stressed that amendments to the CF IRP must be made in the policy itself, not through the use of clarification bulletins.

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