# 2014-118 - Meal Expenses, Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI), Relocation Expenses, Storage Fees

Meal Expenses, Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI), Relocation Expenses, Storage Fees

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–11–28

The grievor, a member without dependents, stated that he was given wrong advice regarding the allowances to which he was entitled while posted overseas. He states that the information he received led him to sell his car at a loss and prevented him from storing his furniture at public expense. More than a year after he was granted the meal allowance, an audit revealed that the allowance had been granted in error on the basis of the belief that he was married and had a dependant. The grievor claimed reimbursement of the meal allowance, to which he contends that he is entitled in accordance with the Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI), and he requested compensation for the financial losses he incurred as a result of his posting.

Acting as Initial Authority (IA), the Chief of Staff, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff, determined that the grievor was in fact entitled to store his property at public expense notwithstanding the prohibition on movement and storage of household goods and effects (HG and E) clearly set out in the grievor's posting instruction. The IA concluded that the grievor was not entitled to the meal allowance since he was entitled to storage of his goods at taxpayer expense. Noting as well that the grievor had divorced shortly before his posting, the IA acknowledged that this situation had been administered erroneously and that the errors could have been avoided if all of the parties had been duly informed in a timely manner of the change to his marital status.

The Committee noted that the posting instruction clearly indicated that the grievor had no dependants and prohibited both the shipping and the storage of his HG and E. The Committee found that the grievor was entitled to the meal allowance during his deployment overseas because his situation fully met the eligibility criteria set out in Chapter 10 of the MFSI. The Committee also found that by forbidding the grievor to move and store his HG and E, he had been treated unfairly and differently from other CAF members, in that reasonable expenses incurred by him in connection with or resulting from his posting to Haiti were not repaid to him.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) grant the meal allowance to the grievor for the duration of his posting abroad and, in addition, review his situation with a view to reimbursing eligible and reasonable expenses incurred by him as a result of his posting. Regarding the loss incurred through the sale of his personal vehicle, the Committee recommended that the CDS forward the file to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation, for assessment purposes in accordance with the Treasury Board's Directive on Claims and Ex Gratia Payments.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–06–24

The CDS partly upheld the Committee's conclusions and recommendations. Regarding the meal allowance, the CDS said that he agreed with the Committee's conclusion that the grievor's posting message prohibited both the shipment and storage of his HG&E and that, as a result, he was eligible for this allowance under the MFSI. The CDS did not agree with the Committee's conclusion regarding the sale of the grievor's vehicle. Judging that this was a personal decision, that the case contained no elements demonstrating that the grievor had lost money during this transaction and that the grievor had not provided any information on the value of his vehicle at the time of sale, CDS disagreed with the Committee's recommendation that the case be transferred to DCCL for evaluation.

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