Per Diem

» Posted by on Jan 10, 2014 in History and Overview, Hotels | 0 comments

Per Diem rates are published annually for Conus and change infrequently. PDTATAC published rates for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico and U.S. territories and lastly, the State Department establishes per diem for overseas travel and change as needed.

We see three governing areas within our government that need to collaborate and establish a best practice for Per Diem calculations that are uniform, suitable to both industry and government and include like components such as taxes.

Standardization of the process could eliminate significant costs related to training and education as well as errors in calculations by the traveler or agency.   Additionally less time would be spent on preparing for these trips and more time allocated to the mission and the goals to accomplish for taking this trip and result in greater savings of travel and increase travelers’ efficiency.

The practice of infrequent or lack of change in the Conus rates is always cause for contention.  Why should one area of our country be penalized because they are smaller, more rural then some of the larger cities.  All have supply and demand issues and once rates are out of alignment the industry’s real cure is to eliminate availability rather than go back and reestablish new Per Diem rates.

With continuous fluctuations in the lodging market there needs to be an increased flexibility for the Conus rates to shift due to these market conditions and influences.  At a time when the Executive Office wants Americans to spend money to stimulate the economy then consideration of significant Per Diem Reductions in the Continental U.S. should be evaluated once again so that the negative impact on the lodging market does not occur because of our federal government.

By Rick Singer

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