# 2016-167 - Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI)

Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI)

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2016–12–30

The grievor was posted outside of Canada (OUTCAN) as a single member. One year into his posting, he returned to Canada to marry and then relocate his new spouse and her household goods and effect (HG&E) to his place of duty OUTCAN. The grievor consulted Brookfield Global Relocation Services, who informed him that they did not have the mandate to administer her relocation, which is provided for under the Military Foreign Service Instruction (MFSI). The grievor extended his leave in order to conduct the move. He was reimbursed the actual and reasonable costs of relocating her HG&E. The grievor and his spouse then traveled to his place of duty over several days by private motor vehicle (PMV), incurring fuel, meal and accommodation expenses. He was denied reimbursement on the basis that the MFSI do not provide for reimbursement for the costs of moving a PMV. The grievor argued the MFSI are unclear as to the how they interact with the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP). The grievor claimed that he was misinformed by the Canadian Armed Forces and had to expend annual leave in order to conduct his spouse's relocation. The grievor requested reimbursement of all travel expenses, including mileage at the kilometric rate, meals and accommodation, as well as the remittance of 14 days of annual leave. He also requested that the MFSI be rewritten.

The Initial Authority (IA) partially granted redress, recognizing that the grievor's fuel expenses should have been considered as actual and reasonable travel expenses in accordance with the MFSI, denying reimbursement of meal and accommodation expenses. The IA also found that there are no provisions within the leave policy to allow him to reinstate the grievor's leave.

The Committee determined that the policy allowing the move of the grievor's spouse under the circumstances is unique to military members posted OUTCAN and governed exclusively by Chapter 10 of the MFSI, which provides for specific benefits, not those of the CF IRP. It also noted the ambiguity regarding what can be considered actual and reasonable transportation expenses, but found that the MFSI clearly provide for transportation by commercial means only and for the most direct route (i.e. shortest travel time). The Committee concluded that a PMV is not considered part of HG&E, either under the MFSI or the CF IRP, and is not provided for in Chapter 10. However, the Committee found that, based on normal business practices, actual and reasonable expenses should include fuel, meal and accommodation expenses, but are not to exceed the estimated “reasonable” costs as if the grievor's spouse had travelled by commercial transportation. Regarding the grievor's claim that he was misinformed, the Committee found that he had not established the basis for his claim and was not prejudiced by having to make arrangements on his own time.

The Committee recommended that the Final Authority partially grant redress by reimbursing actual travel expenses, not matter the nature, to a maximum not to exceed the estimated “reasonable” costs as if the grievor's spouse had travelled by commercial transportation. The Committee also recommended that the policy be clarified to avoid future confusion.

FA Decision Summary

FA Decision Pending

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