# 2015-072 - Departmental Hardship and Risk Committee (DHRC) Procedures, Hardship Allowance, Risk Allowance (RA)

Departmental Hardship and Risk Committee (DHRC) Procedures, Hardship Allowance, Risk Allowance (RA)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–10–27

The grievor was deployed to Afghanistan with a Foreign military on three separate occasions. During the first two deployments he was awarded Hardship Allowance (HA) 5 and Risk Allowance (RA) 4, which were assigned to the post (the Kandahar Airfield, the location of Operation ATHENA). On the third deployment, although at the same post, the operation was only assigned HA 3 and RA 2, which was later amended to HA 2 and RA 3. The grievor requested that the levels be reviewed, especially since a nearby non-combat mission was assigned higher levels of HA and RA.

The position of the Departmental Hardship and Risk Committee (DHRC) was that each operation was assessed based on its own merits and could not be compared to previous or other current missions. The DHRC noted that the assessment process had undergone significant changes in procedures, submission forms, and guidance to Task Forces in order to have greater accuracy and standardization in submission quality across the full spectrum of operations. One of the results of these improvements was a trend toward lower, yet more accurate levels of HA and RA.

The Committee found that the grievor's first two deployments were appropriately assigned the approved levels for the post, which happened to be the same levels as for Operation ATHENA. The Committee also found that, at the time of the grievor's third deployment, the levels for the post (Kandahar Airfield) had already been approved as contemplated in the policy.

The Committee noted that the assessment of the grievor's third deployment used new forms, which were intended to allow for a better assessment, and the submissions were evaluated with the benefit of additional expertise from intelligence, medical and mission specialists. A review of the DHRC minutes indicated that the HA and RA levels were reduced for four of the operations that were reviewed at the same time the grievor's was. The Committee accepted the possibility that the reductions may have been partially attributable to a new and more accurate process; however, more explanation was required. The Committee found that there was a need for accountability, transparency and explanations for decisions especially when it involves reducing a level.

Due to the perceived incongruity in HA and RA levels between the grievor's mission and other similar missions, the Committee recommended that the CDS direct a review of HA and RA levels assigned to the grievor's mission; and, that the grievor be provided with a written explanation for the levels assigned.

FA Decision Summary

The FA, the Chief of the Defence Staff, disagreed with the Committee's recommendation to deny and granted the grievor hardship allowance (HA)/ risk allowance (RA) rates for his deployment with his Australian Exchange Unit. He disagreed with the Committee's findings that the DHRC lacked transparency in determining their HA/RA scoring sheet. He directed that the Strategic Joint Staff Director General Operations (DG Ops), in his capacity as the Chairman of DHRC, assign Op SLIPPER the same HA/RA as the other Canadian operation being conducted in Afghanistan - Op ATTENTION.

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