# 2016-059 - Relocation Expenses

Relocation Expenses

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–06–08

The grievor was relocated under the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) for a determined period. He decided to rent at his new location since the CFIRP did not allow purchase benefits for short postings. Considering that he had to pay for two sets of accommodations for a short period of time, the CFIRP paid him a benefit entitled “rent in advance of move”.

Approximately one year later, the original posting instruction was amended by removing the dates and leaving the posting without an end date. As a result of this amendment, the grievor became eligible for purchase benefits and purchased a residence. He was then posted to a new unit within the same location, and was asked to reimburse the “rent in advance of move” he had received for his previous posting.

The grievor argued that the CF IRP precluded him from receiving relocation benefits associated with his move within the same location. He also disagreed with the fact that he had to reimburse the “rent in advance of move”. As redress, the grievor requested relocation benefits for his second posting and reimbursement of the “rent in advance of move”.

The Initial Authority (IA) explained that the grievor was not entitled to the relocation benefits for the second posting because his posting was within the same location and he did not purchase a residence which is located “... at least 40 kilometers closer to new place of duty” as required by the CFIRP.

Regarding the “rent in advance of move”, the IA explains that to be entitled to the costs associated with the purchase of a residence, a member must reimburse any “rent in advance of move” he received for that posting.

The Committee disagreed with the IA's reasoning and explained that the CF IRP only applies to situations where a member is posted from one place of duty to another, which is clearly not the grievor's situation.

Unfortunately, the Committee indicated that the grievor's unusual circumstances were not specifically provided for in Section 8 of the Compensation and Benefits Instructions for the Canadian Forces (CBI). However, the Committee noted that the CBI provides special powers to the Minister to approve the reimbursement of all or part of the expenses reasonably incurred. In this case, the Committee found that it would be equitable for the Minister to approve the reimbursement of a number of expenses incurred by the grievor.

The Committee found that the rent in advance was for the original posting and had nothing to do with the posting to the same geographical location. Therefore, the Committee found that the grievor should not have had to reimburse the rent in advance he received.

The Committee recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) direct that the grievor be reimbursed the “rent in advance of move”.

The Committee also recommended that the second posting message be amended to authorize movement of the household goods and effects under the provisions of Section 8 of the CBI Chapter 208 and that the CDS invoke ministerial authority, and direct reimbursement of the grievor's actual and reasonable expenses related to his move.

FA Decision Summary

The FA disagreed with the Committee's recommendations. The FA disagreed with the use of CBI 208 as it would be circumventing the Treasury Board approved policies: the grievor did not move to a new place of duty and he was not at least 40 km closer to that new place of duty, it was a posting in the local area. The fact that the grievor's posting was extended past one year triggered CFIRP article 8.3.02, making him eligible for home purchase benefits as part of his original move, and he was required to reimburse any "rent in advance of move” that was paid to him. The FA agreed with the Committee's finding with regard to the Posting Allowance: the grievor was not entitled to it.

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