Clarity of information - Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program

There are 2 issues related to topic "Clarity of information - Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program".


Topic

Clarity of information - Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program

Case number

Description

During a House Hunting Trip, the grievor used the services of a Real Estate (RE) agent to purchase a house which was privately sold.  The grievor had signed an agreement with the RE agent that he would pay the commission fees if the seller was not willing to do so.  The grievor paid the commission fees and later requested reimbursement which was refused.  In his grievance, the grievor indicated that, in his opinion, the commission fees should be paid by public funds and the policy surrounding moves should be more specific with respect to this issue.

In another grievance concerning the same issue, the Board recommended that the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP) be more explicit in this regard by including a warning to Canadian Forces (CF) members relating to potential non-reimbursable fees on the purchase of a home.  The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) agreed that both the policy and the It's Your Move manual could be clearer concerning which expenses can be reimbursed.  The CDS also noted that the CF IRP had been amended and included a statement to the effect that RE fees paid by the member was not reimbursable when purchasing a home.

The Board noted that article 12.12 of the CF IRP 2006 and 2007 versions did include a note of caution that commission fees would not be paid on the purchase of a home; however, that note has since been removed from more current versions.  In the Board's opinion, re-inserting the note into future CF IRP policies, as well as the It's Your Move manual would prevent misunderstandings and would support the purposes of these two documents, which is to ensure a hassle-free move for CF members.

Recommendation

In order to provide clear direction, the Board recommended that the note be re-inserted into future CF IRP policies, as well as the It's Your Move manual. 

Final Authority Decision

The CDS agreed with the Board's systemic recommendation that a note regarding non admissible expenses be reinserted into future CF IRP manuals and in the It's Your Move manual, like it was in the CF IRP APS 2006 and 2007 manuals.

The CDS directed DGCB to take some actions and send a written confirmation to DGFCGA once completed.


Topic

Clarity of information - Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program

Case number

Description

The Board noted that it has now reviewed two cases in which the grievor, upon relocation, was never informed of the actual costs to ship a second vehicle until the final invoice was received.  One grievor was given an estimate which was substantially lower than what the final costs were.  It appears that this type of situation occurs in part because the carriers (who are contracted by the Canadian Forces (CF)) sub-contract the move of vehicles to a third party.  The carrier is not required to check with the CF member to confirm that the cost involved is acceptable, nor is the CF member advised as to how much it will actually cost before the move.  The end result is that often, the CF member is taken by surprise and made to pay much higher costs than first anticipated.

In the Board's view, CF members who are relocating should not be expected to sign a "blank cheque" for shipping a second vehicle.  They should know up front what the specific costs will be so as to make an informed decision about whether to ship the vehicle.  If price changes occur, CF members should be informed in advance in order to opt for the best decision.

Recommendation

The Board recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff order that the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program provisions and any form related to the shipping of a private motor vehicle be reviewed and clarified to ensure that CF members are made aware of the actual shipping costs before their relocation to allow them to make an informed decision.

Final Authority Decision

Pending

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