GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION
FEDERAL TRAVEL REGULATION (FTR)
PER DIEM BULLETIN 04-1
Fiscal Year 2004 Maximum Per Diem Rates
Continental United States (CONUS)
SUMMARY: An analysis of lodging and meal cost survey data reveals that the listing for the CONUS maximum per diem rates should be updated to provide for the reimbursement of Federal employees’ expenses covered by per diem.
ACTION: This Per Diem Bulletin provides the FY2004 CONUS Per Diem Rates. There are increases/decreases in the maximum lodging amounts in certain existing per diem localities, new per diem localities have been added, and a $1 increase in the incidental expenses in all per diem localities, including Standard CONUS. If a CONUS per diem rate is insufficient to meet necessary expenses (i.e., there is no vacancy at the prescribed lodging rate), this bulletin also contains a listing of pertinent lodging and meal cost data that must be submitted through an agency requesting the location be re-surveyed.
EFFECTIVE: This bulletin is effective October 1, 2003, and applies to travel performed on or after that date.
POINT OF CONTACT: Patrick McConnell, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Travel Management Policy, at (202) 501-2362 or firstname.lastname@example.org. When making inquiries please cite FTR Per Diem Bulletin 04-1.
(A) After an analysis of additional data, the General Services Administration (GSA) has determined that current lodging and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) allowances for certain localities do not adequately reflect the cost of lodging in those areas. In the past, properties in high cost travel areas have been under no obligation to provide lodging to Federal travelers at the prescribed per diem rate. Thus, GSA established the FPLP to contract directly with properties in high cost travel markets to make available a set number of rooms to Federal travelers at contract rates. FPLP contract results along with the lodging survey data are integrated together to determine reasonable per diem rates that more accurately reflect lodging costs in these areas. The FPLP continues to grow as GSA has awarded virtually all contracts in the top 70 federal metropolitan travel destinations. In addition, the FPLP enhances the Government’s ability to better meet its overall room night demand, and allows travelers to find lodging close to where they need to conduct business.
If a CONUS per diem rate is insufficient to meet necessary expenses (i.e., there is no vacancy at the prescribed lodging rate), this bulletin also contains a listing of pertinent lodging and meal cost data that must be submitted through an agency asking that the location be re-surveyed.
(B) GSA will issue/publish the CONUS per diem rates, formerly published in Appendix A to 41 CFR Chapter 301, solely on the internet at http://www.gsa.gov/perdiem. This new process ensures more timely increases or decreases in per diem rates established by GSA for Federal employees on official travel within CONUS. Notices published periodically in the Federal Register now constitute the only notification of revisions in CONUS per diem rates to agencies. This will ensure timely notification of any increase or decrease in per diem rates established by GSA for Federal employees on official travel within the continental United States (CONUS).
Incidental Expenses Increase
On May 13, 2002, the Administrator of the General Services Administration established
the Governmentwide Per Diem Advisory Board (the Board) to review the current process
and methodology used to establish the Federal per diem rates within the continental
United States (CONUS), and to provide advice regarding best practices for a
governmentwide lodging program. The Board delivered their final report to GSA in
January 2003 with 55 recommendations, 14 of the recommendations were adopted
for the FY 2004 per diem study, with an increase in the incidental expenses being one of
the recommendations. GSA will determine the feasibility and timeline for implementing
the remaining acceptable recommendations. Effective October 1, 2003, the incidental
expenses will increase from $2 to $3. The incidental expenses is reflected in the meals
and incidental portion of the per diem rate.
The CONUS per diem rates are established in key cities, counties and/or other defined locations where the Federal employee(s) performs official business. If travel is to a location where the per diem rate is insufficient to meet necessary expenses, the employee may submit a request, containing pertinent lodging and meal cost data, through his/her agency requesting the location be re-surveyed. In order for GSA to determine if a location warrants a re-survey or a rate change, the following information is required from an agency:
(2) The total number of annual trips (made by a Federal agency) to the location.
(3) The primary purpose of Federal travel.
(4) A list of geographical areas to be surveyed (by zip code if possible).
(5) A list of a wide range of lodging facilities within the proximity of the location where Federal travelers stay (including addresses, zip codes and rates).
(6) If lodging cannot be found in an area at the prescribed lodging rate, the Federal agency Travel Manager or entity must show how many times actual expense was used and/or the number of times Federal travelers used another lodging facility.
(7) The names of Federal agencies supporting a rate change.
All CONUS lodging rate change requests must be sent to the following address: General Services Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Attn: Travel Management Division (MTT), Washington, DC 20405. The aforementioned information must be provided to GSA no later than February 27, 2004, to be included in the next annual per diem study.
This bulletin gives notice of a revision in per diem rates prescribed by GSA for CONUS, as follows:
Maximum per diem rates for official travel in the continental United States (CONUS) by Federal Government employees as prescribed in FTR Per Diem Bulletin 04-1:
Deputy Associate Administrator