There are 2 issues related to topic "Door-to-Door Move".
- 2010-067 (F&R Date: 2010–12–02)
Although it has not undergone any major changes, the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CFIRP) policy has been the object of numerous grievances since the interpretation of the provisions concerning door-to-door moves has been tightened up. At the heart of the problem is the reimbursement of expenses for meals, lodging, incidentals and storage during a move when the household goods and effects (HG&E) are ready to be delivered but the new residence is not yet available. In addition to the grievances that have been received, this dissatisfaction has been abundantly expressed to the Board during its recent visits to Canadian Forces (CF) bases. In the view of the Board this is probably the most controversial benefit at the present time.
Despite the explanations provided through CANFORGEN 130/09, the rate of dissatisfaction of CF members with the CFIRP policy remains relatively high, and there remains a general lack of understanding of certain provisions of CFIRP, notably with regard to the more restrictive interpretation of the provisions concerning door-to‑door moves. The Board also notes that the notions of “reasonable efforts”, “could not/unable to” and “exceptional circumstances” are not defined in the CFIRP policy and believes that this lack of a clear definition has contributed to the lack of understanding and the high level of dissatisfaction among CF members.
The Board therefore recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff order a communication campaign to educate and inform members about these new provisions and their interpretation. At the very least, this campaign should seek to remind and explain:
· the objective of the policy, its raison d’être and its three components;
· that the CFIRP is a policy designed to minimize or eliminate as far as possible the disturbances associated with a transfer or a move and not to put money into the pockets of CF members;
· the principle of the door-to-door move;
· what constitutes a situation “beyond members’ control”;
· what are considered reasonable efforts to organize a door‑to‑door move; and
· what portion of the expenses for meals, lodging, incidentals and storage during a move is reimbursed from the core component.
Final Authority Decision
The CDS finds that the information provided in early 2011 concerning the relocation and the related allowances was sufficiently detailed without requiring a learning and information campaign. However the CDS said he was concerned about the difficulty Reg F members were having in obtaining a detailed plan in order to meet the requirements of the door-to-door policy. He therefore asked the CMP to evaluate whether the policy could be amended to further increase the CFIRP’s capacity to adjust to the needs of military members and their families.
- 2010-088 (F&R Date: 2011–03–10)
The Board reviewed a grievance concerning the door-to-door move policy and the reimbursement of additional days of Interim Lodgings, Meals and Miscellaneous (ILM&M) expenses.
The Board noted that the provisions of the Canadian Forces Integrated Relocation Program (CF IRP) and CANFORGEN 130/09 appear to apply different standards regarding the reimbursement of additional days of ILM&M. The CF IRP allows for such reimbursement only if a door-to-door move has been unsuccessful due to circumstances beyond the CF member’s control. However, the CANFORGEN allows for reimbursement if the member can demonstrate that they made “every reasonable effort” to arrange a door-to-door move.
Given the apparent conflict between the CF IRP and the CANFORGEN, the Board found that the standard that must be applied was that of the CF IRP, where reimbursement is possible if a door-to-door move is unsuccessful due to reasons beyond the member’s control. However, the Board found that this standard, as applied, was too onerous and almost impossible to meet. Further, the Board found that this standard did not allow for sufficient flexibility to accommodate individual circumstances where members have done their best to achieve a door-to-door move. Finally, having reviewed the RCMP and Public Service employees policies on relocation, the Board observed that the CF appears to have the most restrictive rules regarding the granting of additional ILM&M, even though members of the CF are subjected to more frequent and short notice relocations.
The Board recommended that the Chief of the Defence Staff direct the Director General Compensation and Benefits to review the policy on providing additional ILM&M on door-to-door moves, since the current policy is overly restrictive and inflexible.
Final Authority Decision
The CDS also addressed the Board's systemic recommendation. Although he agreed with the synopsis prepared by rhe DGCFGA after the F&R that the CANFORGEN 130/09 does not expressly contradict the CF IRP, he shared the Board's concern regarding the confusion in this area, and he forwarded his decision to the CMP for a review of the wording in the CANFORGEN with a view towards resolving the issue.
Therefore, the CDS agreed that the current ILM&M policy may be denying reimbursement of legitimate relocation expenses to CF members in some circumstances. He forwarded theses concerns to the DGCB for inclusion in the next CF IRP review, to ensure that the ILM&M policy meets the aim of the CF IRP to minimize any negative effects of relocation on CF members.
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