Per Diem

» Posted by on Dec 27, 2014 in History and Overview | 0 comments

Per Diem is the allowance for lodging (excluding taxes), meals and incidental expenses.  GSA (General Services Administration) sets the maximum per diem allowances for areas within the Continental United States (CONUS).  The State Department sets the foreign per diem rates (for example, Russia, Aruba, Bahamas etc.)  The Department of Defense (DOD) sets the non-foreign rates such as Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and Guam.  These rates apply to all individuals traveling on behalf of the federal government.

These rates are published annually, adjustments to the rates are made throughout the year, and may change as often as monthly.

A study is conducted every 3-5 years on Meals and Incidental (M&IE) expenses, in an effort to obtain more accurate prices charged by restaurants in the areas frequented by federal travelers.  In the last study the M&IE for FY10 tiers was increased from $46.00 to $71.00.

Included in incidental expenses are fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, bellhops, hotel maids, stewards or stewardesses and others on ships, and hotel servants in foreign countries.  Transportation between places of  lodging or business and places where meals are taken, if suitable meals cannot be obtained at the temporary duty site.  Mailing cost associated with filing travel vouchers and payment of Government charge card billings.

If lodging is not available at your Temporary Duty (TDY) location, your agency may approve up to 300% of per diem for the location where lodging is obtained.  On the first and last day of travel federal employees are only eligible for 75 percent of the total M&IE rate for that TDY location.

By: Kathy Runion

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not reflect any position of the Government or my agency.

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