Travel Professional Resources

» Posted by on Jan 31, 2014 in Travel Professional Resources | 0 comments

The Travel Departments of companies involved in the support to the US Federal Government are subject to Government regulations such as the FAR and FTR; however the interpretation of theses laws is very subjective to the T&E policy of each company.  Government Contractors need to educate their travelers by emulating the government communication process regarding Travel and Ethics training.

According to the DCAA Contract Audit Manual, advanced planning for travel should be an integral part of the contractors internal travel policy.  Such planning to combine visits to the same geographical area into a single trip would minimize the use of above standard fares and accommodations  In 1985, legislation revised the costs allowability criteria from reasonable meals and lodging to use the government employee per diem rates.  The Act creates parity between the allowable Transporation/relocation, and travel expense for contractors and government reimbursement rates. The result is that contractor costs for travel, including lodging, meals and incidentals will only be allowable if reasonable to the extent permitted for federal employees.

This principal was established to equalize travel cost reimbursements of government and contracted employees.  Per diems limit daily reimbursement on a location by location basis.

The FTR (Federal Travel Regulation) contains three provisions that apply to Government Contractors:

a)      Definition of what constitutes a meals, lodging, and incidental expense.

b)      Daily limits for lodging and per -diem.  Contractor payment limitations are based on combined lodging and per diem each day.  Government employee limitations are based on individual lodging and per diem each day.

c)      Unusual circumstances that permit reimbursement greater than the established limits.

It is the Travel Managers responsibility to ensure complete understanding with effective ongoing communication in order to avoid any perception of inappropriate behavior.  Online booking tools and Expense reporting systems need to be programmed in accordance with Government standards. The Travel Manager needs to have the support of the company’s leadership in order to communicate the nuances associated with travels in performance of Government contracts to the traveling employees and arrangers.

By Maruca Malloy







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