# 2015-100 - Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA)
F&R Date: 2015–06–08
The grievor arrived in Germany with his spouse and checked into interim lodgings to await delivery of their Household Goods and Effects (HG&E). A few days later, the grievor's sister passed away suddenly. Based on the grievor's extenuating circumstances, his Commanding Officer (CO) directed him and his spouse to vacate their hotel and to return to Canada together on compassionate leave. The unit booked the flights to Canada, settling the Compassionate Travel Assistance (CTA) claim on their return. Subsequently, an audit determined that the grievor was not entitled to claim the CTA for his spouse and that amount was recovered.
As redress, the grievor requested reimbursement of his spouse's travel, because they had obeyed the CO's direction to go back to Canada together.
The Initial Authority (IA) denied redress stating that there was no entitlement to CTA for a spouse under Foreign Service Directive (FSD) 54.
Although the Committee agreed with the IA that the grievor was not entitled to the CTA for his spouse, it examined whether the grievor should nevertheless be reimbursed for those expenses.
Based on the grievor's unique situation (just arrived in Germany, the death was sudden and unexpected, they were occupying interim lodgings, the grievor's spouse spoke only French and she was not familiar with the area), the Committee found the CO's decision to be sound and reasonable in the circumstances. The Committee further found that it was reasonable for the grievor and his spouse to follow his CO's direction. Accordingly, the Committee also found that neither the grievor nor his spouse can be held responsible for expenses incurred on obeying the CO's direction.
The Committee considered that the grievor's situation was different from those situations contemplated by the FSD 54.12.1 but that they were not dissimilar to the circumstances established by the FSD. Accordingly, the Committee found that the use of Ministerial discretion under Compensation and Benefits Instructions (CBI) 10.2.02 would be appropriate.
The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) reimburse the travel expenses of the grievor's spouse by exercising Ministerial discretion under CBI 10.2.02.
In the alternate, the Committee recommended that the CDS explore the use of non-public funds to reimburse the grievor.
In the event that the CDS disagreed with the foregoing options, the Committee recommended that redress be sought outside the grievance process by referring the file to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation.
CDS Decision Summary
CDS Decision Pending
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