Defence Determination 2016/36, Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers – supporting benefits



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Defence Determination 2016/36, Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers – supporting benefits


I, MARK DONALD BINSKIN, Chief of the Defence Force, make this Determination under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903.

Dated 2 December 2016

M D BINSKIN

Air Chief Marshal



Chief of the Defence Force

PAGE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK
1
Citation

1.

This Determination is Defence Determination 2016/36, Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers – supporting benefits.

2.

This Determination may also be cited as Defence Determination 2016/36.
2
Commencement and cessation

1.

This Determination commences on the date of registration.

2.

This Determination ceases to apply on 31 March 2019.




Note: The Chief of the Defence Force may extend the provisions under this Determination beyond the cessation date of this Determination, by an amending determination, if the member's appointment as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers is extended.
3
Authority




This instrument is made under section 58B of the Defence Act 1903.
4
Application




This Determination applies to Simon Stuart, who holds the service number 556064 (“the member”).
5
Dual benefit




During the effective period of this Determination, the member is not eligible for a benefit provided under Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of service, as in force from time to time, that has a similar purpose as a benefit under this Determination.

See also: Subsection 26.3, Other benefits not specified
6
Definitions




The following definitions apply to this Determination.




Term

Definition

Commonwealth provided accommodation

Means the accommodation that is provided at Commonwealth expense in Rome, Italy, for the member and his dependants provided under subsection 17.1.

Decision-maker

Means one of the following.

a. Chief of Army.

b. Director General Personnel – Army, not below the rank of Brigadier.

c. Chief of Staff Army Headquarters, not below the rank of Brigadier.



Defence Attaché

Means the Defence Attaché Southern Europe in Madrid, Spain.

Dependant

Means the member's spouse and children, who have been recognised for Defence benefit purposes immediately prior to the commencement of this Determination.




Term

Definition

MFO

Means the Multinational Force and Observers.

Rome

Means Rome, Italy.



7
Effective service




The period that the member holds the appointment of Force Commander, Multinational Force and Observers, is counted as effective service for salary advancement and accrual of service for long service leave.
8
Financial advice




The member may receive reimbursement of up to AUD 1,000 for the cost of financial advice obtained prior to leaving Australia from a person on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission's Financial Advisers register.
9
Pre-departure certificate of fitness

1.

To be eligible for assistance with health care costs provided under sections 21 to 24 of this Determination, each of the member's dependants must obtain certificates of both medical and dental fitness at least six weeks before departing Australia.

2.

The certificates aim to identify if there are any pre-existing medical conditions or illnesses that would require ongoing healthcare beyond the scope of routine prescription medication or general practitioner services.

3.

The certificates must meet all of the following conditions.




a.

The certificates are provided by medical practitioners and dentists authorised by Defence.




b.

The medical practitioners and dentists are informed that the examinations are required for travelling to and living in Rome.




c.

The certificates state whether the person is fit to travel to and live in Rome.

4.

The certificates are to be provided to the Joint Health Command (JHC) for review and to advise Director General Personnel – Army on any pre-existing conditions or illnesses the certificates may identify.




Note: The certificates are filed and kept by the JHC as Sensitive: Personal, Health information.

5.

If a certificate identifies any pre-existing condition or illness which requires ongoing treatment, the Director General Personnel – Army may determine the extent of the assistance with health care costs that are provided under sections 21 to 24. Some pre-existing conditions and illnesses, listed in the schedule and subject to them meeting the restrictions, are covered under sections 21 to 24 and no decision needs to be made.

See: Schedule, Conditions and illnesses covered by sections 21 to 24




6.

When making a decision under subsection 5, the Director General Personnel – Army must consider all these criteria.




a.

The state of health of the dependant.




b.

Advice provided by JHC on the condition or illness.




c.

The nature, availability and cost of health, therapeutic or special needs facilities in Rome.




d.

The interests of the Commonwealth that would be furthered by the dependant living in Rome.




e.

Any climatic or other environmental factor in Rome that may be especially adverse to the health of the dependant.




f.

Any other factor relevant to the dependant's fitness to live in Rome.

Example: Any special needs that the dependant has that has previously been recognised by Defence and that the member has received benefits for.

7.

The member is eligible to be reimbursed any costs to obtain the certificates of fitness and all necessary inoculations, vaccinations and anti-malarial drugs that are required by the member's dependants for the purpose of travelling to and living in Rome.
10
Outlay advance

1.

The member is eligible for the payment of any outlay advance of AUD 15,000.

2.

The outlay advance is to be repaid to the Commonwealth within the first 12 months after the member has received the advance. Payment is to be made through a reduction in the amount of support allowance the member receives.

3.

The member must provide a written list to the Defence Attaché of all costs paid from the outlay advance no later than six months after the member received the outlay advance.




Note: If the requirements under subsection 3 are not met there may be fringe benefits tax implications for the member.
11
Removal of personal effects

1.

The member is eligible for the removal at Commonwealth expense to Rome of the following personal effects that the decision-maker considers reasonable.




a.

The dependant's personal effects.




b.

Any of the member's personal effects that are not transported by the MFO.

2.

When the member returns to Australia he is eligible for the removal of the personal effects set out in subsection 1 from Rome to his new posting location.

3.

If the member's dependants return to Australia early, the member is eligible for a removal of the dependants' personal effects that the decision-maker considers reasonable, from Rome to the location where they are going to live in Australia.



12
Vehicles and furniture – removal and storage

1.

The member is eligible for the removal and storage within Australia at Commonwealth expense of any vehicles and furniture that are not stored under the MFO storage allowance.




Note: The storage allowance provided by the MFO is 8,181 kg.

2.

When the member returns to Australia he is eligible for the removal of items that have been stored at Commonwealth expense to his new posting location.

3.

If the member's dependants return to Australia early, the member is eligible for a removal of items that have been stored at Commonwealth expense to the location where they are going to live in Australia.
13
Vehicles and furniture – loss on sale

1.

This section applies if the member chooses to dispose of any furniture or vehicles, instead of having them removed to storage.

2.

The member may be reimbursed the lesser of the following amounts for the loss on sale of furniture.




a.

An amount that the decision-maker considers reasonable.




b.

What the Commonwealth would have paid to remove and store the furniture.

3.

The member may be reimbursed for the loss on sale of one vehicle up to a maximum amount AUD 1,400. The following conditions must be met.




a.

The vehicle must be owned by the member or the member's spouse.




b.

The member bought the vehicle before receiving official notice of his appointment.




c.

The member has sold the vehicle in Australia because of his appointment.




d.

The price the member obtained for the vehicle is less than the market price for a vehicle of the same model, age and similar condition.




e.

The decision-maker is satisfied that the member made reasonable efforts to dispose of the vehicle without incurring a loss.

4.

The member must apply in writing to the decision maker for reimbursement.
14
Pre departure allowances

1.

The member is eligible for the following allowances to assist with costs before the member and his dependants depart Australia for Rome.




a.

Temporary accommodation allowance of up to AUD 669.00 for three night's accommodation.

Note: Temporary accommodation can be a hotel, motel or serviced apartment.




b.

An allowance of AUD 3,342.40 for meals and incidental costs.

2.

The member must provide receipts to show their accommodation costs.



15
Travel

1.

The member and his dependants are eligible for one return business class flight each between following locations. This includes any connecting flights for the journey.




a.

The closest airport to the member's posting location within Australia.




b.

The international airport in Rome.

2.

The member is eligible for a rest period of two days to be taken during a stopover or after the flights from Rome to the member's new posting location.

3.

If the member's dependants choose to return to Australia early and use their return flight to a chosen destination within Australia, and then choose to return to Rome, the Commonwealth will not pay the additional travel costs.

Note: If the member or his dependants have compassionate travel approved by the decision-maker using the approval power under section 26, this travel does not count as the return flights to Australia.
16
Support allowance

1.

The member is eligible for the payment of support allowance to assist in offsetting additional expenses incurred by the member's dependants. The payment of the allowance is conditional on the dependants living in the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

2.

The quarterly rate of support allowance and the period it covers is shown in the following table.



    Item

    Allowance period

    Allowance rate
    AUD


    From...
    (payment date)


    To...

1.

16 December 2016

15 March 2017

15,286.19

2.

16 March 2017

15 June 2017

15,625.88

3.

16 June 2017

15 September 2017

15,625.88

4.

16 September 2017

15 December 2017

15,981.29

5.

16 December 2017

15 March 2018

16,439.18

6.

16 March 2018

15 June 2018

16,804.49

7.

16 June 2018

15 September 2018

16,804.49

8.

16 September 2018

15 December 2018

16,621.84

9.

16 December 2018

31 March 2019

19,361.70






Note: The amount of support allowance paid to the member may be reduced in the following ways.




a.

To cover any additional payments the member must make.

Examples: Excess utilities costs, repayment of outlay advance.




b.

To cover any period beyond 28 days when all of the member's dependants temporarily leave the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

See: Subsection 17.3, Accommodation in Rome







c.

For any period that the member received settling in advance under section 18 of this Determination.

3.

If the member's dependants choose to leave Rome permanently, or to live in accommodation that is not the Commonwealth provided accommodation, the member's entitlement to support allowance will cease. Both of the following apply.




a.

The member or his dependants must inform the Defence Attaché of their decision.




b.

The member will have to repay a pro-rata amount of support allowance received that is calculated from the date the dependants stop living in the accommodation. The amount is calculated using the following table.



    Step

    Action

    1.

Work out the number of days since the dependants stopped living in the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

    2.

Calculate the daily rate of support allowance that was paid for the quarter when the dependants stopped living in the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

    3.

Multiply the daily rate calculated in step 2 with the number of days calculated under step 1.

    4.

The result of step 3 is the amount of support allowance the member must repay to the Commonwealth.




4.

If the member is required to repay an amount to the Commonwealth that cannot be recovered by a deduction in the amount of support allowance payable, this amount is a debt to the Commonwealth and must be repaid to the Commonwealth.
17
Accommodation in Rome

1.

The Commonwealth will provide accommodation in Rome that the decision-maker considers reasonable, for the member's dependants.

2.

The member is responsible for the following costs in relation to the Commonwealth provided accommodation.




a.

Damages and any unreasonable wear and tear made to the accommodation.




b.

End of occupation cleaning and general maintenance of the house and grounds.

3.

If the member's dependants temporarily leave the Commonwealth provided accommodation for a period of 28 consecutive days or more the member's next payment of support allowance will be reduced. The member or his dependants must inform the Defence Attaché of any absence that is longer than 28 consecutive days.




4.

The calculation of the reduced support allowance payment is worked out in the following table.

See: Section 16, Support allowance



    Step

    Action

    1.

After the 28th day of the absence, work out the number of consecutive days the dependants were not living in the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

    2.

Calculate the daily rate of support allowance that was paid for the quarter that the dependants were not living in the Commonwealth provided accommodation.

Note: If the period takes place when a change in the rate of support allowance occurs, the daily rate used is the one that applied when the days away from the accommodation took place.

    3.

Multiply the daily rate calculated in step 2 with the number of days calculated under step 1.

    4.

Subtract the amount calculated in step 3 from the amount of support allowance the member is due to be paid next.







Note 1: If the member has no more support allowance payments to be made, the amount calculated in step 3 must be repaid to the Commonwealth.

See: Subsection 16.4, Support allowance




Note 2: If there is an absence of consecutive days that takes place over two payment periods, the absence is counted as one period and will be deducted from the following payment.

Example: The dependants are away from the Commonwealth provided accommodation for 35 consecutive days, 15 days in one payment period and then 20 days in the next payment period. The adjustment for the full 35 days will be made to the following support allowance payment.




Note 3: If the member's dependants choose not to live in the Commonwealth provided accommodation, the Commonwealth will not be liable for any additional costs associated with the accommodation the dependants do live in.
18
Settling in accommodation and advance

1.

If the member or dependants are not able to occupy the Commonwealth provided accommodation in Rome when they arrive in Rome, the member will be eligible for both of the following.




a.

Temporary accommodation in Rome at Commonwealth expense that the Defence Attaché has selected or approved.







Note: Temporary accommodation can be a hotel, motel or serviced apartment.




b.

A settling in advance to assist with meal costs in Rome.

2.

The daily rate of the settling in advance per person is the relevant of the following.




a.

If meals are not provided as a part of the accommodation cost, the daily rate of EUR 122.83.




b.

If at least one meal is provided as a part of the accommodation cost, the daily rate of EUR 81.89.




3.

The settling in accommodation and the payment of the settling in advance ends on the earlier of the following days.




a.

The day after the member and his dependants are able to occupy the Commonwealth provided accommodation.




b.

The end of the sixth week after the member or his dependants arrive in Rome, whichever is earlier.

4.

For each day that the member receives the settling in advance the member's next payment of support allowance is reduced by the daily amount of that allowance.

Example: The member was in settling in accommodation and received settling in allowance for 12 days. The member's next payment of support allowance will be reduced by 12 days.
19
Utilities

1.

In this section, utilities means the following services.




a.

Water.




b.

Gas.




c.

Electricity.




d.

Heating.




e.

Other fuel for ordinary household purposes.




f.

Garbage.




g.

Sewerage.

2.

If unreasonable utilities costs are incurred as determined by the Defence Attaché, the member's next payment of support allowance will be reduced by an amount that has been determined as unreasonable by the Defence Attaché.

3.

When determining if the utilities costs are unreasonable, the Defence Attaché must consider all of the following criteria.




a.

The make up of the member's family.




b.

The condition and nature of the residence occupied by the member's family.




c.

The climatic conditions in Rome.




d.

The level of use of the utilities by the member's family.




e.

Any special circumstance affecting the member's family that may cause an otherwise unreasonable usage of utilities.




Note: If the member does not have another payment of support allowance, any amount the Defence Attaché considers unreasonable must be repaid to the Commonwealth.

4.

If the accommodation has a heated swimming pool, the Defence Attaché will determine an amount that the member is required to pay for any swimming pool heating.



20
Education

1.

The member is eligible for the following education assistance for his dependants.




a.

The payment by the Commonwealth of reasonable required deposits necessary to secure school positions for the member's school aged children.




b.

The payment by the Commonwealth of any compulsory tuition fees.




c.

The reimbursement of costs for the dependants to attend the approved summer school, the American Overseas School of Rome, for up to four weeks per annum.

2.

The Defence Attaché may approve the reimbursement of extra costs associated with a child's remedial tuition, taking into consideration the following criteria. The reimbursement may be for up to 200 hours' remedial tuition per child during the first year in Rome.




a.

The child's education progress.




b.

The nature and cost of the tuition.




c.

The probable need for and cost of similar tuition in Australia.




d.

Whether the remedial tuition is necessary for the child to make reasonable progress at school, within the limits of their ability.




e.

Any other factor relevant to the child's educational progress.
21
Medical costs

1.

The member is eligible to be reimbursed out-of pocket expenses incurred by a dependant for medical services provided by a registered medical practitioner. The following conditions apply.




a.

The medical service must be one for which the dependant would be entitled to a Medicare benefit in Australia.




b.

The member must reach the following minimum threshold in out-of-pocket expenses for the dependant.




i.

If the dependant is less than 15 years old at the beginning of the financial year, the minimum threshold is AUD 25 for each visit.




ii.

If the dependant is 15 years or older at the beginning of the financial year, the minimum threshold is AUD 69 for each visit.




c.

The minimum threshold is not reimbursed.




Exclusion: Medical services for any pre-existing condition or illness that has not been approved by the Director General Personnel – Army, under subsection 9.5 or listed in the schedule.




Exception: Costs associated with assisted reproductive services provided overseas are not reimbursable under this section.

Note: If the member's dependants are to travel outside of Italy, they will not be covered by this section. It is recommended that they take out private travel insurance.



22
Hospital costs

1.

This section applies when both of the following conditions are met.




a.

The dependant meets any of the following criteria.




i.

The dependant is certified as fit to travel under section 9.




ii.

The dependant has a pre-existing condition or illness and has been approved for assistance by the decision-maker, under subsection 9.5



iii.

The dependant has a pre-existing condition or illness listed in the schedule, subject to the restrictions.




b.

The member has not received a benefit for the same service under sections 21 or 23.




Exclusion: Hospital treatment for any pre-existing condition or illness that has not been approved by the Director General Personnel – Army, under subsection 9.5 or listed in the schedule.

2.

If a dependant is admitted to a public hospital in Italy, the member may be eligible to be reimbursed costs for hospital accommodation, treatment and related charges incurred by the dependant.

3.

If a dependant is admitted to a private hospital in Italy, the decision-maker may approve the reimbursement of reasonable costs for hospital accommodation, treatment and related charges incurred by the dependant.




Note: The reimbursement may be for part or full costs.

4.

In making a decision under subsection 3, the decision-maker must consider all of the following criteria.




a.

The nature of the illness or condition of the dependant.




b.

The availability of the required treatment in a public hospital.




c.

Any other factor relevant to the treatment of the dependant.




Note: If the member's dependants are to travel outside of Italy, they will not be covered by this section. It is recommended that they take out private travel insurance.
23
Pharmaceutical costs

1.

The member is eligible to be reimbursed costs for pharmaceutical products for a dependant. The following conditions apply.




a.

The pharmaceutical product must be a drug or medicinal preparation prescribed by a registered medical practitioner.




b.

The amount payable is any amount by which an item exceeds AUD 31.30.

2.

During a calendar year, the member may pay repeated threshold costs outlined in paragraph 1.b for a dependant. After the total threshold payments exceed AUD 1,141.80 for the calendar year, the member is to be reimbursed the amount by which an item exceeds AUD 5.00.







Exclusion: Any pharmaceutical product for any pre-existing condition or illness that has not been approved by the Director General Personnel – Army, under subsection 9.5 or listed in the schedule.




Note: If the member's dependants are to travel outside of Italy, they will not be covered by this section. It is recommended that they take out private travel insurance.
24
Ancillary services

1.

The member is eligible to be reimbursed costs for ancillary services provided in Italy for a dependant.

2.

An ancillary service includes an additional service not covered by Medicare, but covered by the Medibank Private Top Hospital and Top Extras package in Australia. The following are examples of ancillary services.




a.

Dental treatment that is medically necessary.

Exception: Cosmetic dental treatment.




b.

Optical services.

Exception: Cosmetic optical treatment.




c.

Physiotherapy, speech pathology, occupational therapy.




d.

Ambulance transport.

3.

The member is to be reimbursed the additional cost above the cost of a similar service in Australia. The Australian cost is determined by reference to either of these health funds.




a.

The private health fund the dependants belonged to before leaving Australia.




b.

Medibank Private, if the dependants do not have private health insurance.




Exclusion: Any ancillary services that are in relation to a pre-existing condition or illness that has not been approved by the Director General Personnel – Army, under subsection 9.5 or listed in the schedule.




Note: If the member's dependants are to travel outside of Italy, they will not be covered by this section. It is recommended that they take out private travel insurance.
25
Claiming reimbursement of eligible costs




To make a claim for reimbursement of eligible costs provided by this Determination, unless otherwise specified, the member is to forward the claims and receipts to the Defence Attaché.
26
Other benefits not specified

1.

During the period of effect of this Determination, the decision-maker may approve other benefits of a similar type that the member would have been eligible for under Chapters 14 and 15 of Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of service, as in force from time to time, had that Determination applied to the member. This is to allow the member and his dependants to manage unforseen, exceptional or compassionate circumstances.

Examples: Compassionate travel, evacuations.




2.

When making a decision under subsection 1, the decision-maker must take the following into consideration.




a.

The welfare of the member and his dependants.




b.

Whether the cost should be paid using support allowance.




c.

Any evidence provided to support the reason for the benefit.




d.

Any other relevant matter.

3.

The member is not eligible for any of the following benefits. The calculation of support allowance includes off setting these benefits.




a.

Cost of living adjustment.




b.

Post adjustment.




c.

Child allowance.




d.

Pet relocation costs.




e.

Club memberships.




f.

Separation allowance.




g.

School transport costs.




h.

Foreign language tuition or training.




i.

Excess baggage costs.




j.

Reunion travel, if the member's dependants return to Australia early.




k.

Additional food or clothing allowances.




l.

Worldwide risk insurance.




m.

Any benefit that is equivalent to a benefit that has been provided by the MFO or another organisation.
27
Benefits if dependants return to Australia early

1.

During the period of effect of this Determination, the decision-maker may approve benefits within Australia that the member would have been eligible for under Defence Determination 2016/19, Conditions of service, as in force from time to time, had that Determination applied to the member, if the member's dependants return to Australia before the cessation date of this Determination.

2.

When making a decision under subsection 1, the decision-maker must take the following into consideration.




a.

The welfare of the member's dependants.




b.

Any evidence provided to justify the benefit.




c.

Any other relevant matter.


Schedule: Conditions and illnesses covered by sections 21 to 24





If a dependant has any of the following pre-existing conditions or illnesses, assistance with medical costs is provided under sections 21 to 24, subject to any restrictions.




    Condition or illness

    Restriction

Acne

If there has been no treatment by a medical practitioner in the last 60 days.

Allergies

If there has been no treatment by a medical practitioner in the last six months.

Asthma

If there has been no exacerbation requiring treatment by a medical practitioner in the last 12 months. Also, if the dependant has no underlying lung condition or disease, inclusive of, but not limited to, the following:

a. Chronic bronchitis;

b. Chronic obstructive airways disease;

c. Emphysema.



Cataracts or Glaucoma

If there are no ongoing complications, the dependant is not on a waiting list for an operation, or has not been operated on in the last 30 days.

Coeliac disease

If there has been no treatment by a medical practitioner in the last six months.

Diabetes or Glucose intolerance

If the condition was diagnosed over 12 months before travel and there have been no complications in the last 12 months.

Ear grommets

If there is no infection at the time of travel.

Epilepsy

If there are no underlying medical conditions (eg. Head trauma or stroke) and there has been no treatment by a medical practitioner in the last two years.

Gastric reflux

If the condition does not relate to another underlying condition (eg. hernia or gastric ulcer).

Gout

If the gout has remained stable for the last six months.

Hiatus hernia

If no surgery is planned.

Hip or knee replacement

If surgery was performed more than six months ago and less than 10 years ago.

High cholesterol

If there are no known heart conditions.

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

If the condition is stable and managed by a doctor, and if there is no underlying heart or cardiovascular condition.

Menopause

If the dependant does not suffer from osteoporosis.

Peptic or gastric ulcer

If the condition has remained stable for the last six months.

Under or over active thyroid

If it is not a result of a tumour.




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