Federal Lodging

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» Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Hotels | 0 comments

There are many regulations a federal traveler must following when selecting lodging for official business travel.  The government establishes per diem rates for locations world-wide.  The per diem allowance is intended to limit the amount a federal traveler spends on lodging, meals and incidental expenses.   Travelers should use an e-Travel system,  which will provide a list of hotels within the government rate.  Travelers without access to an e-Travel system can get the rates from the GSA website.  Per diem rates are reviewed annually and adjusted based on the assessment of trends and lodging needs.  General Services Administration (GSA) submits the new rates to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and approval.  Once approved by OMB, GSA will release to rates to be used by federal travelers.  Travelers will be reimbursed the only the cost of their hotel room up to the per diem rate, unless they can provide justification and the approving official will approve the request.  Federal travelers should also use their government credit card to reserve and pay for a room.

Many hotels recognize the limitations of federal travelers and accommodate them by setting the lodging rates at or below per diem.  Hotels which are trying to capture the business of federal travelers will offer appealing amenities such as free breakfast or free transportation to frequent destinations.   A general policy requires federal travelers stay in hotels which are approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Hotels receive approval by submitting the Hotel and Motel Fire Safety Declaration form to the U. S. Fire Administration to be registered on the Master List of FEMA compliant hotels.

By Debbie Sams

“The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.”

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