# 2015-075 - Temporary Duty Benefits, Travel Expenses

Temporary Duty Benefits, Travel Expenses

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–06–11

The grievor contested the denial of his claim for reimbursement of an insurance deductible he paid for damages to a rental vehicle while serving on temporary duty (TD). He maintained that the Administrative Instruction that authorized his tasking and vehicle rental also indicated that he was to be provided with an Individual Designated Travel Card (IDTC). The grievor argued that if he had been provided with the proper IDTC, he would not have used his personal credit card and would not have been billed for the insurance deductible. He submitted that he was aware of the Canadian Forces Temporary Duty Travel Instruction (CFTDTI) and the requirement to purchase Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) insurance, but maintained that the Instruction was not clear that the CDW was to have a nil-deductible. As redress, the grievor sought reimbursement of the deductible he paid while on TD.

The Initial Authority (IA) found that only those expenses authorized within the CFTDTI could be reimbursed. Acknowledging that the grievor's tasking had deemed it essential that he have a corporate credit card, but that the had proceeded without one, the IA found that it would have been incumbent upon the grievor's chain of command (CoC) and tasking office to properly prepare him by discussing pertinent rental vehicle policy. Nonetheless, the IA noted that there was also an onus on the grievor to familiarize himself with the CFTDTI. The IA found that CFTDTI 4.12(6) stipulated that military personnel without an IDTC were to purchase CDW and would be reimbursed in accordance with article 8.36. The IA found that although the CFTDTI did not explicitly state that a CDW with a zero deductible was to be purchased, article 4.12(2) left no doubt that the Crown would not pay any deductible insurance in respect of a rental vehicle. Thus, it was the renter's responsibility to confirm there was no deductible. The IA concluded that there was no construct within the CFTDTI for him to authorize the expense incurred and denied the grievance.

The Committee found that article 4.12(2) did not prohibit the payment of deductibles but only set out the general principle that the Crown is not responsible to pay. The Committee found the intent of the policy was for travelling members to be fully covered in the event of an accident, so that they would not have to pay a deductible. The Committee found that the grievor had complied with his obligation to purchase CDW and should not be held responsible for the deductible he had incurred because he did not purchase zero-deductible CDW coverage. This, combined with the fact that the sole reason for which the grievor had used his personal credit card was the CAF's inability to issue him an IDTC, given the last minute tasking, made this case an exception. The Committee also agreed with the IA that it would have been incumbent upon the grievor's CoC to properly prepare him by discussing pertinent rental vehicle policy. As the grievor had complied with his obligation, but the CAF had not, it was unfair that he incur the financial consequences.

The Committee found it would be equitable and consistent with the purpose of the CFTDTI to reimburse the grievor. In accordance with article 4.01 of the CFTDTI, the Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff use his special powers to grant reimbursement to the grievor of the insurance deductible he paid.

CDS Decision Summary

CDS Decision Date: 2016–08–22

The FA agreed with the Committee's findings and recommendation that the grievor be reimbursed of the deductible paid by the grievor. The FA agreed with the Committee that CFTDTI 4.12(6)(b) is not clear concerning an individual's requirement for a zero-deductible collision damage waiver (CDW), as this article does not specify that a zero-deductible insurance is required. Therefore, the FA authorized the reimbursement of the deductible paid by the grievor, using the delegated powers under CFTDTI 4.01. The FA also directed that the wording of the CFTDI be changed to reflect the fact that CAF members are authorized to purchase CDW with zero deductible and if they fail to do so, they will become responsible for any deductible charged by a rental company.

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