# 2020-188 Pay and Benefits, Recovery of overpayment

Recovery of overpayment

Case summary

F&R Date: 2021-12-20

The grievor, a medical assistant, completed a component transfer from the Reserve Force to the Regular Force in the Operating Room Technician (OR Tech) occupation, at the rank of Corporal (Cpl). He was paid in the Specialist 1 (Spec 1) occupation group upon entering the occupation. The grievor was later notified that he owed approximately $10,000 due to having been incorrectly paid Spec 1 pay at the rank of Cpl. The grievor indicated that he had questioned his rate of pay several times with pay specialists and that he had received confirmation that he was being paid correctly at the Cpl Spec 1 rate of pay. The grievor argued he should not have to repay the money, as it was not his fault.

The Initial Authority (IA), the Director General Compensation and Benefits, found that there was a flaw in the Military Employment Structure Implementation Plan (MES IP) as to the organization of the OR Tech occupation, which did not specify the correct pay grade for unqualified members of the occupation. On the other hand, the IA also found that the grievor received pay that he was not entitled to and that the overpayment must be recovered in accordance with provisions in the Queen's Regulations and Orders for the Canadian Forces (QR&O) 201.05 (Financial Responsibilities of Accounting Officers).

The Committee noted the flawed MES IP specified that members of the OR Tech occupation would become entitled to Spec 1 pay upon completion of their Master Corporal (MCpl) rank qualification and subsequent appointment to MCpl, but that it failed to specify a sub-occupation or pay grade for members not holding this qualification. The Committee also noted that the grievor sought clarification from pay specialists who failed to recognize that he was receiving pay above his entitlement. The Committee explored the option of remission of the grievor's debt under subsection 23(2.1) of the Financial Administration Act and found that the provisions in the QR&O 201.05, referred to by the IA, do not preclude the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) from seeking relief for CAF members in deserving cases. The Committee also found that the grievor's circumstances met criteria for a claim of negligent misrepresentation. The Committee recommended that a Treasury Board submission be prepared seeking remission of the overpayment. Alternatively, the Committee recommended that the grievor's case be forwarded to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation.

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