GSA and States Need to Partner in Setting Per-diem Rates

» Posted by on Nov 9, 2014 in Hotels, Payment Methods, Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The 50 states across the United States all adopt some sort of a travel reimbursement program.   A majority of the states adopt the GSA per-diem rate as the benchmark to reimburse travelers.   There are some problems that States with this methodology.   Some properties will only honor the GSA per-diem rates for federal travelers.  The other problem is some properties will not honor per-diem rates at all due to the market being under valued.

According to the GSA; getting a per-diem rate adjusted in a market that may be undervalued, can only be requested by a federal travel manager.   This provides a real problem for states that have markets where federal travelers do not travel too.  A prime example is along the Oregon coast.  One city along the central coast is a tourist destination; however, it doesn’t have a seasonal per-diem rate.  This has become real troublesome for state employees to conduct business and stay in this city because of the lack of properties that will honor the per-diem rate.

A solution to this problem would be if the GSA would listen to State travel managers on where adjustments could be made.  This is one area where the states and GSA could work together.  Maybe as part of the annual research the GSA conducts to adjust rates, a snap shot of state input could be included.   I am not advocating for higher per-diem rates everywhere, but a closer look at those few markets where finding a property honoring per-diem rates is difficult could be warranted.

by Tim Hay

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