# 2014-175 - Maintenance Allowance, Military Foreign Service Regulations (MFSR)

Maintenance Allowance, Military Foreign Service Regulations (MFSR)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–05–27

The grievor was part of Operation (OP) SOPRANO and complained that his daily rent for Canada House was unfairly increased retroactively by a decision made by the Commander (Comd) of the Canadian Joint Operations Command (CJOC). The grievor also complained that he was not allowed to seek alternative accommodation and that he had never signed a rental agreement.

No Initial Authority decision was rendered because the decision grieved was made by the Comd CJOC who reports directly to the Chief of the Defence Staff.

The Committee considered the applicable policy found in Compensation and Benefits Instruction 10 – Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI) and, based on the file evidence, concluded that the grievor's rent had been raised beyond what was required solely to cover the increased accommodation costs for Canada House.

The Committee found that the grievor's rent rate had been increased from $40 USD per day to $65 USD for the purpose of exhausting the grievor's daily Mission Subsistence Allowance (MSA), an allowance being paid to the grievor by the United Nations. The Committee also found that CJOC was not guided by any Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) policy in devising and implementing the retroactive rent increase.

The Committee noted that CJOC had contracted and arranged accommodation for its OP SOPRANO members and had ordered all members to reside in those accommodations for security reasons. The Committee, having concluded that CJOC had taken on the responsibility of being a landlord, then examined whether CJOC had respected Canadian law and regulations regarding accommodation rental.

After reviewing the National Joint Council Directive on Isolated Posts and Government Housing, Part VI, the Committee observed that a minimum 90 day notice of a rent increase should have been provided to the grievor.

Referring to MFSI 10.2.01 which states that as much as possible, deployed members should be neither better nor worse off than CAF members serving in Canada, the Committee found that the grievor was not afforded the minimum 90 day notice of a rent increase by CJOC when acting as his landlord. As a result, the Committee found that the rent increase was unreasonable and should be quashed and the previous $40 USD rate re-established.

The Committee recommended that CJOC be directed to establish specific policies regarding rental of CAF provided accommodations for deployed members and that OP SOPRANO's daily rent be re-established at $40 USD per day pending the development and implementation of appropriate policy to govern rent increases correctly and fairly.

FA Decision Summary

Although the DGCFGA agreed that CJOC acts as landlord, he disagreed that any link should be made to Canadian rental policies, to CAF international obligations or to UN policy governing MSA given that this was an operational environment. However, the DGCFGA agreed with the Committee's recommendation that a minimum of 90 days' notice of a rental increase be given, using the Province of Ontario as a guideline, and therefore asked CMP that arrangements be made to reimburse the grievor. The DGCFGA asked CJOC to evaluate how accommodations are provided and charged to CAF personnel deployed on UN missions.

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