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GSA Releases FY2011 Per Diem Rates for Federal Travel

Standard reimbursement rate increases 10 percent to $77; rates help ensure effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

GSA # 10682

August 31, 2010
Contact: Diane Merriett, (202) 501-1231

WASHINGTON – GSA, the federal agency charged with establishing per diem rates for federal travel, has released per diem reimbursement rates for fiscal year 2011, which will take effect on Oct. 1. Per diem is the allowance provided to government employees for lodging (excluding taxes), meals and incidental expenses incurred while on official government travel. Federal government per diem rates, calculated based on widely accepted industry measures, provide effective stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

“By using the lodging industry’s standard measure for lodging rates, the Average Daily Rate, as the base, GSA maintains best value to the taxpayer when calculating reimbursement rates for official government travel,” said Kathleen M. Turco, Associate Administrator for GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy.

The daily rate is a commonly used performance indicator in the hotel industry that represents the average rental income per occupied room in a given time period. FY2011 rates reflect an overall decrease of 3.85 percent when compared to FY2010 rates.

In establishing per diem rates, GSA sets two different kinds of rates – a standard per diem rate and a non-standard per diem rate. Most areas, approximately 2,600 counties, are covered by a standard per diem rate. The standard rate, which is reviewed every three years, is an aggregate of rates for locations across the country, not including those locations that are considered non-standard. For FY2011, the standard per diem rate has been adjusted upward to $77 to reflect the average daily rate for lodging across the country. Reimbursement for meals and incidental expenses remain unchanged from FY2010 ranging from $46 through $71 for meals per day depending on the location and $5 for incidental expenses.

GSA also sets per diem rates for 378 “Nonstandard Areas” in the United States. Nonstandard areas are frequently traveled by the federal community and are reviewed annually. Of these 378 areas, 310 will see decreases in their FY2011 rates, 50 will increase, and 18 will remain the same. The per diem rate is the maximum allowable reimbursement rates for federal travelers. Agencies may authorize actual expenses consistent with the Federal Travel Regulation.

GSA has statutory responsibility to establish actual and necessary expense reimbursements and per diem allowances for federal employees traveling on official business.

For all full list of all FY2011 per diem rates per location or for more information on how GSA determines federal per diem rates,

GSA offers a wide range of travel products and services to federal agencies to help them meet their mission requirements while reducing costs. These include the Airline City Pairs program, which leverages the buying power of the federal government to set one-way air fares for federal travel between key markets well below full commercial fares; and FedRooms, the government-sponsored lodging program that simplifies hotel booking for federal travelers through pre-negotiated room rates in key markets across and the country. In addition, GSA manages the federal government’s E-Gov Travel Service, which has simplified booking and management of government travel and provided significant costs savings to the federal government.

Per Diem Rates


Founded in 1949, GSA manages more than 11 percent of the government’s total procurement dollars and $24 billion in federal assets, including 9,600 government-owned or leased buildings and 213,000 vehicles.
• GSA helps preserve our past and define our future, as a steward of more than 480 historic properties, and as manager of, the official portal to federal government information and services.
• GSA’s mission to provide superior workplaces, expert technology solutions, acquisition services, purchasing and E-Gov travel solutions and management policies, at best value, allows federal agencies to focus on their core missions.

Did You Know? The per diem rate in the continental U.S. for an area is actually three allowances in one: the lodging allowance, the meals allowance and the incidental expense allowance.

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