# 2015-159 - Parking


Case Summary

F&R Date: 2015–09–08

The grievor argued that the process used to determine the fair market value (FMV) for parking at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Halifax was flawed and did not follow approved policy. He further argued that some areas meet the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) definition of Scramble Parking and should be administered as such, without parking fees. He also complained that commercial operators would guarantee him a parking spot whereas the CFB Halifax Parking Policy does not.

The Initial Authority (IA), the Commander Maritime Forces Atlantic, denied the grievance on the basis that the CFB Halifax Parking Policy had been prepared in accordance with governmental and departmental direction and that the collection of parking fees was properly authorized. The IA determined that even if a parking lot met the CRA definition of Scramble Parking, which he considered it does not, CFB Halifax was not obligated to administer it as such.

The Committee reviewed the Income Tax Act, the CRA definitions, Public Works and Government Services Canada direction and Departmental policies noting that the provision of free parking was subject to the Income Tax Act. The Committee determined that the CFB Halifax Parking Policy requirement that parking be paid for and that the rate should be set at FMV is in accordance with policy and that the FMV rate was properly reached with the assistance of assessments from independent certified appraisers.

The Committee could not factually determine if a particular lot met the CRA definition of Scramble Parking but considered the issue moot since the Commander CFB Halifax had the discretion to not administer it as such.

The Committee determined that the study conducted to determine FMV was conducted in a cogent manner by professional assessors in accordance with guidelines issued by the Appraisal Institute of Canada. Further, this study was conducted on behalf of the PWGSC. As such it was independent of the CAF and unbiased.

The CFB Halifax Parking Policy provides for the selling of more passes than there are spaces available. The Committee noted that this may be appropriate where there are a large number of spaces and the customers have widely various attendance such as at a university. This is not the situation at CFB Halifax where there are fewer spaces and the movement of employees is far more predictable. Furthermore, commercial operators make alternate arrangements when the lot is full, however, the CFB Halifax policy requires unavailability for 10 consecutive days for operational reasons before compensation is considered. The Committee recommended that the overselling margins allowed by CFB Halifax be discontinued or reviewed frequently.

The Committee disagreed with the IA that the definition of Scramble parking needed clarification, expressing the opinion that it provides sufficient guidance to enable the parking authority to use its discretion to determine if a lot meets the definition or not.

The Committee recommended that the grievance be denied.

FA Decision Summary

The FA did not agree with the Committee's recommendation that the grievance be denied: he found that the grievor had been aggrieved. The FA agreed with some but not all of the Committee's findings. He found that the parking rate study had not been conducted correctly because the Statement of Work (SOW) issued by PWGSC had omitted the constraint that comparator paid parking lots must be ones available to the general public. The SOW had simply instructed the appraisers to use the Appraisal Institute of Canada's guideline, which they did, and thus the assessment of market value was flawed.

The FA further explained that the CFB Halifax Parking Policy provided a parking service and not parking spaces, meaning that purchasing a parking pass did not guarantee a spot. He stated that this is defined in the AIC parking guideline as rush parking, and is a recognized and valid kind of parking. He commented that the minutes of the Parking Committee meeting of 7 March 2014 indicated that RA Park had more parking spaces than demand and therefore that that there was no requirement to institute scramble parking. He found that the policy was lawful and ethical.

The FA noted that PWGSC policy required a new parking study every two years and that CFB Halifax was preparing to commission a new study, but he cautioned the grievor that this remedy for his grievance might not lead to a reduction in parking fees or a change in the type of parking.

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