Dissemination of Final Authority Decisions

Topic

Dissemination of Final Authority Decisions

Case number

Description

When the Board receives numerous cases regarding the same issue, whether it is the application or interpretation of a policy being challenged, this is often an indication that there are additional similar cases which may come to the Board.  In those cases where the Board is of the view that a grievor has been prejudiced and that a new position, approach or interpretation must be adopted which will benefit or affect other Canadian Forces (CF) members, the Board will usually recommend to the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) that this interpretation/decision be provided to the chain of command, initial authorities (IA) or other CF members who may be affected.

For example, the Board has received multiple grievances dealing with the Acting While So Employed policy, the interpretation of the Compensation and Benefits Instructions on incentive pay category anniversary dates (on promotion), pay protection on component transfer, and many more, where the CDS has clearly endorsed a particular position or taken a specific approach and directed that other similar files be treated the same way.  Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, either because it takes too long for the actual decision to make its way down the chain or because there is no specific database, or mechanism in place to access these Final Authority (FA) decisions, the Board is often asked to review the same matter again.  This is unfortunate.

In a recent decision, where the Board recommended that the IA be made aware of the FA's interpretation of a statute, the CDS did not act stating that the IAs involved in grievances are systematically informed through the internal distribution of the FA decisions.  Despite the process apparently in place to inform IAs of FA decisions, the consistent application of FA decisions to subsequent similar files continues to be an issue; it appears the current measure may not be sufficient.

The CDS or his delegate's decisions should be used to help resolve similar cases akin to the manner in which superior court and tribunal decisions are binding on lower courts and decision makers.  Decision makers at all levels in the CF should be aware of these significant FA decisions so that similar cases can be resolved administratively or at the IA level.

Recommendation

The Board recommended that the CDS ensure that formal 360 feedback measures and mechanisms be put in place so that FA decisions are forwarded to the appropriate commanders, CF decision-makers, staff and members, with detailed instructions as to how to resolve similar cases in the future. 

Final Authority Decision

The grievance was resolved informally

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