# 2017-094 - Private Motor Vehicle Use for Military Travel While on Temporary Duty – Limit on number of kilometer not permitted, Temporary Duty Benefits, Transportation Expenses, Travel Expenses

Private Motor Vehicle Use for Military Travel While on Temporary Duty – Limit on number of kilometer not permitted, Temporary Duty Benefits, Transportation Expenses, Travel Expenses

Case Summary

F&R Date: 2017–11–20

In October 2015, the Director Compensation and Benefit Administration (DCBA), on behalf of the Director General Compensation and Benefits (DGCB), modified the Cost Comparison Form used to calculate a Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) member's entitlement under Canadian Forces Temporary Duty Travel Instruction (CFTDTI) Chapter 7. The DCBA interpretation restricted the number of kilometers (km) to be reimbursed when a member uses a private motor vehicle (PMV) for military travel instead of the most economical means of travel to 500 km each way, for a total of 1,000 km round-trip. Prior to the reinterpretation, the Cost Comparison Form allowed for the total number of km for the direct distance between locations.

In 2016, the grievor was on temporary duty (TD) for military training and travelled from his home base to another CAF base. Despite airfare being deemed the most economical mode of transportation, he requested, and was authorized to use his PMV. Notwithstanding that he travelled much farther round-trip, he was reimbursed 1,000 km round-trip for his PMV travel, which amounted to less than what airfare would have cost as the most economical means of travel. The grievor argued that nowhere in the CFTDTI was there a limit on the number of km to be reimbursed, and that DCBA's reinterpretation was flawed. He noted that before the reinterpretation of the policy, he would have been reimbursed the cost of a flight, given it was the most economical means of travel compared to the kilometric rate for the total direct distance. As redress, he requested to be reimbursed the difference between what he had already been reimbursed and the cost of airfare.

The DGCB, acting as Initial Authority (IA), denied the grievance. He stated that the Treasury Board (TB) has the sole authority to regulate the reimbursement of travel and associated expenses for CAF members. He noted that, in accordance with CFTDI Chapter 7, the grievor was only entitled to reimbursement for the first day of travel to the TD location and first day of travel upon return to his place of duty. He also stated that he has the authority to determine the method of calculating the cost of the most economical means of transportation without putting a CAF member at risk. The IA noted that he granted DCBA the authority to determine the method of that calculation, which was updated in October 2015, in accordance with the CFTDTI, to allow a maximum distance of 1,000 km to be used for PMV travel round-trip. As a result, the IA denied the redress sought by the grievor.

The Committee reviewed the relevant portions of the CFTDTI and concluded that DGCB does not have the authority to sub-delegate the method of calculating the most economical means of transportation to DCBA. Therefore, the Committee found that DGCB is responsible for the Cost Comparison Form identified in the policy.

With respect to limiting reimbursement to 1,000 km, the Committee acknowledged that the CFTDTI stipulated that CAF members may not be required to drive more than 500 km per day of traveling for safety reasons. However, the Committee stated that this limitation had no bearing on the calculation of the dollar amount to be reimbursed – the two issues are separate and distinct. In fact, the Committee highlighted that the CFTDTI clearly stated that a member is entitled to the lesser of two amounts, either “the kilometric rate for the direct road distance”, or the most economical and practical mode of transportation. The Committee also noted that TB has the sole authority to regulate the reimbursement of travel and associated expenses, and that neither DGCB nor DCBA have the authority to limit a members' entitlement under the CFTDTI.

The Committee recommended that the grievor be reimbursed the difference between what he had already been paid and the cost of airfare, which was deemed the most economical means of travel.

FA Decision Summary

FA Decision Pending

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