# 2021-149 Pay and Benefits, Director Claims and Civil Litigation, Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program, Interim lodging, Meals and incidentals

Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL), Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP), Interim Lodging, Meals and Incidentals (ILM&I) 

Case summary

F&R Date: 2021-09-23

The grievor argued he should be reimbursed for meals and miscellaneous expenses incurred while he was required to isolate for COVID-19 upon arrival at his posting, in accordance with Canadian Forces General Message (CANFORGEN) 072/20, RELOCATION PLANNING IN RELATION TO COVID-19. 

The Initial Authority (IA) found that since the grievor received his household goods and effects (HG&E) in advance of the days he was authorized travel to new location (TNL), the grievor forfeited his rights to any remaining TNL benefits or reimbursement related to self-isolation, in accordance with the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) Directive. The IA did not afford redress.

The Committee found that the Treasury Board (TB) did not authorize a new benefit for TNL during the COVID-19 pandemic; rather, time spent in self-isolation was considered a delay in travel as per article 3.4.05 of the CFIRP Directive. However, the Committee found that the wording of paragraph 15 of CANFORGEN 072/20 did not accurately describe the authority provided by the TB regarding self-isolation requirements and TNL. The Committee found that the grievor was not entitled to any benefits after receiving his HG&E while self-isolating, in accordance with article 5.01 of the CFIRP Directive. 

The Committee further found that the grievor reasonably relied, to his detriment, on the Canadian Armed Force's negligent misrepresentations regarding his entitlement to meals and miscellaneous expenses during his self-isolation period. 

The Committee recommended that the Final Authority (FA) afford the grievor redress by referring the grievor's file to the Director Claims and Civil Litigation (DCCL) for consideration as a claim against the Crown. 

FA decision summary

The FA, Director Canadian Forces Grievance Authority, stated that she agreed with the Committee's analysis. It was thorough, comprehensive and it fully addressed the issues raised in the grievance. However, she did not act on the Committee's recommendation to refer the file to DCCL. Instead, the FA found that CFIRP 2.1.01 gave her the latitude to exercise discretionary power and reimburse meals and incidentals as TNL expenses from the grievor's core envelope, for the period of his self-isolation. She requested the Director of Compensation and Benefits Administration reopen the grievor's relocation file and ensure he was reimbursed. 

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