Standard per-diem rate increases; markets vary
30 AUGUST 2013 11:06 AM
Per-diem rates are the maximum reimbursement rates for federal employees when they are on official travel. New York, for example, saw its fall season per diem increase from $295 to $303.
The Government Services Administration has released the annual government-wide per diem rates.
The standard continental United States (CONUS) per diem rate that is not listed as specific destinations was increased to $83 per night. That rate, which is reviewed every three years, was previously $77 per night.
Reflecting the reduction of federal travel spending and demand for rooms, Washington, D.C. per diem rates were reduced to $219 from $226 for the heavy fall travel season and from $169 to $167 during the summer months.
Some examples of the per diem lodging rate changes for FY2012 include:
• Twenty nine areas which had their own per diem rates were moved into the CONUS rate.
• The New York City (Manhattan) fall season was increased from $295 to $303.
• The City of Hershey, Pennsylvania has its own per diem rate separate from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
• Chicago’s fall season was increased from $190 to $209.
• The fall season for San Francisco was increased from $184 to $226.
The complete list of federal per diem rates can be found at www.gsa.gov/perdiem.
By law, GSA sets per diem rates for the Continental United States (this does not include Alaska, Hawaii and additional non-foreign areas or overseas locations), which are the maximum reimbursement rates for federal employees when they are on official travel. Having per diem rates in place is a best practice as the rates set an appropriate limit based on market rates.
In Fiscal Year 14 per diem rates will increase, decrease, or stay the same depending on changes in the local market. For example, employees traveling to Washington, D.C. in FY 2014 will find the per diem rate is lower.
GSA has been providing agencies tools to save money on travel, including the City Pair Program, which saves billions of dollars annually for agencies:
GSA also manages a voluntary program called FedRooms, which provides federal travelers with competitive rates for hotel rooms.