# 2014-130 - Enrollment Transfer Posting (ETP) instruction, Recovery of Overpayment/Debt Write-Off

Enrollment Transfer Posting (ETP) instruction, Recovery of Overpayment/Debt Write-Off

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2014–11–28

Four and a half years after the grievor completed a component transfer from the Primary Reserve to the Regular Force, it was discovered that he had been given the wrong rate of pay at the time of his transfer. His Enrolment Transfer Posting (ETP) instruction was therefore amended to reflect the correct rate of pay, meaning that the grievor had been overpaid since his transfer and recovery action was therefore initiated to reclaim the overpayments. The grievor argued that he had accepted the component transfer based on the terms in the original ETP instruction and in his view this agreement was a legal and binding contract.

The Initial Authority acknowledged that the error was caused by the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) and not the grievor, but stated that recovery action was necessary and appropriate when errors such as this are discovered. Furthermore, the CAF position on overpayments is that they must be recovered pursuant to Queens Regulations & Orders for the Canadian Forces article 203-04 (Overpayments).

The Committee found that the calculation error was not in dispute; rather it was the recovery action that was contested. While the Committee concluded that the grievor had not been aggrieved by the calculation of his pay entitlements, it found that he had been aggrieved in that he was required to repay a significant sum, due to an error on the part of the CAF.

In recognizing that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) does not have the general authority to offer financial compensation, the Committee recommended that the CDS ask the Director Claims and Civil Litigation to proceed with a review of the file in order to determine whether the grievor's situation meets the criteria for financial compensation.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2015–12–04

The FA did not agree with the Committee's recommendation that, given that the grievor was the victim of an error on the part of the CAF, the only possible remedy is financial compensation and the matter should be referred by the CDS to DCCL. Since the FA found that there is no legally enforceable contract from which a breach could give rise to damages, and also, the grievor's circumstances did not support a claim for damages, therefore, the grievor's case did not merit an endorsement of it to DCCL. The FA was perplexed by the fact that the grievor did not detect the error. The FA found that the there was nothing in the file to suggest that having to repay the sum in question, awarded in error, was unreasonable, since as a serving member, the grievor is, by all standards, well remunerated.

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