Of fice of Governmentwide Policy GSAs Per Diem Rate Setting Process for the Continental United States Travel and Relocation Policy Office of Asset and Transportation Management 2 What is included in Per Diem? Per diem rates include the following reimbursement allowances for Federal travelers: Lodging
Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner Incidentals expenses: Fees and tips (excluding tips for taxis, airport shuttles, etc.) 3 GSAs Authority to set Per Diem In accordance with 5 U.S.C. 5702, GSA sets per diem rates to fairly reimburse Federal employees for their expenses while traveling to achieve their agencies missions. 5 U.S.C. Section 5702 (a)(1)(A) and (B) state that employees are entitled to
A) a per diem allowance at a rate not to exceed that established by the Administrator of General Services for travel within the continental United States. B) reimbursement for the actual and necessary expenses of official travel not to exceed an amount established by the Administrator [of GSA] for travel within the continental United States Meals & Incidental Expense Definitions From the Federal Travel Regulation, 300-3.1 Per diem (b) Meals. Expenses for breakfast, lunch, dinner and related tips and taxes (specifically excluded are alcoholic beverage
and entertainment expenses, and any expenses incurred for other persons). (c) Incidental expenses. Fees and tips given to porters, baggage carriers, hotel staff, and staff on ships. 4 5 M&IE History Previous Advisory Committee recommended review of meals rates every five years Last nationwide survey conducted in FY2009 -Effective FY2010
-Most of these rates still in effect except for small number of new locations and special review areas Surveyed 9,348 restaurants in 502 locations -402 non-standard areas (NSA) -100 areas in continental United States 6 Current M&IE rate tiers $46 CONUS and lowest NSA (33) $51 (90) $56 (103) $61 (67)
$66 (29) $71 (43) Incidental rate - $5 per day, all locations (built in) Methodology Whats Included Average Rate for 3 meals - Two different meal types per meal, averaged Local taxes Gratuity 15 percent Add $5 for incidental expenses 7 Methodology Tier Placement
<$51 ($46 Tier) >= $51 and <$56 ($51 Tier) >= $56 and <$61 ($56 Tier) >= $61 and <$66 ($61 Tier) >= $66 and <$71 ($66 Tier) >= $71 ($71 Tier) 8 Methodology Restaurant Types Primary 2 and 3 star/diamond full service restaurants found within the AAA and Forbes/Mobil Travel Guides Secondary Chain-type restaurants Tertiary Local family dining restaurants
9 Methodology AAA Diamond Relaxed family fare. Enhanced food presentation, such as the use of common garnishes and dishware, a wide selection of familiar or home-style foods. Relaxed service, often family oriented. DC Examples: Hard Rock Caf Cactus Cantina Old Ebbitt Grill 10
Methodology AAA Diamond Skillfully prepared food, often reflecting current trends, and expanded beverage offerings, Efficient service staff, well-coordinated dcor. Often adult oriented. DC Examples: Gordon Biersch McCormick and Schmicks Maggianos Little Italy 11 Methodology Example Big Spring, TX new location in FY2014 Restaurants meeting criteria:
Denny's (chain) Alberto's Crystal Cafe Crispy's Caf Dell's Cafe Just Peachy Cafe Papa Chon's Mexican Restaurant Firehouse Grill Spanish Inn Restaurant Texas Cajun Cafe Hilltop Cafe Carlos Restaurant Joe's Italian Bistro Gill's Gold-N-Crisp Fried K C Steak & Seafood House (2 Diamond)
El Nopal Cafe Average cost of 3 meals +8.25% tax +15% gratuity = $42.42 +$5 for incidentals = $47.42 Tier placement: <$51 ($46 tier) 12 Other Methodology - BTN Business Travel News (BTN) January 2013 pricing
Business Travel Costs in Top 100 cities: http://businesstravelnews.texterity.com/businesstrav elnews/20130318#pg20 U.S. average for meals = $85 Only five locations less than $71 New York = GSA rate: $71; BTN average: $115 Orlando = GSA rate: $56; BTN average: $71 13 Other Methodology - BTN Differences in methodology: Food choices Breakfast: two eggs, meat, toast, orange juice and coffee Lunch: soup, a hamburger or chicken sandwich, a
slice of pie and a soft drink Dinner: soup, filet steak, a glass of red wine, dessert and a cup of coffee. 14 Other Methodology - BTN Differences in methodology: Misc. factors No tax No incidental expense of $5 Includes 15 percent gratuity Unknown variable factor? Restaurant type sampled 15 Federal Travel Regulation:
Sections Related to Meals and Incidental Expenses 16 17 FTR sections M&IE 301-11.17 If my agency authorizes per diem reimbursement, will it reduce my M&IE allowance for a meal(s) provided by a common carrier or for a complimentary meal(s) provided by a hotel/motel? No. A meal provided by a common carrier or a
complimentary meal provided by a hotel/motel does not affect your per diem. 18 FTR sections M&IE 301-11.18 What M&IE rate will I receive if a meal(s) is furnished by the Government or is included in the registration fee? (a) (b) (c) 19
FTR sections M&IE (a) Except as provided in 301-11.17 or in paragraph (b) of this section, your M&IE allowance must be adjusted for meals furnished to you by the Government (including meals furnished under the authority of Chapter 304 of this Title) by deducting the appropriate amount shown in the chart in this section for travel within CONUS and the chart in Appendix B of this chapter for meal deductions for OCONUS and foreign travel. For meals provided on the day of departure and the last day of travel, you must deduct the entire allocated meal cost from the decreased M&IE rate (see 301-11.101). The total amount of deductions made will not cause you to receive less than the amount allowed
for incidental expenses. 20 FTR sections M&IE (b) Your agency, at its discretion, may allow you to claim the full M&IE allowance if: (1) You are unable to consume the furnished meal(s) because of medical requirements or religious beliefs; (2) In accordance with administrative procedures prescribed by your agency, you requested specific approval to claim the full M&IE allowance prior to your travel; (3) In accordance with administrative procedures
prescribed by your agency, you have made a reasonable effort to make alternative meal arrangements, but were unable to do so; and (4) You purchase substitute meals in order to satisfy your medical requirements or religious beliefs. 21 FTR sections M&IE (c) In your agencys discretion, and in accordance with administrative procedures prescribed by your agency, you may also claim the full M&IE allowance if you were unable to take part in a Government-furnished meal due to the conduct of official business.
22 FTR sections M&IE 301-11.25 Must I provide receipts to substantiate my claimed travel expenses? Yes. You must provide a lodging receipt and a receipt for every authorized expense over $75, or provide a reason acceptable to your agency explaining why you are unable to furnish the necessary receipt(s) (see 301-52.4 of this chapter). 23
FTR sections M&IE 301-11.101 What allowance will I be paid for M&IE? (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this section, your allowance is as shown in the following table: When travel is Your allowance is More than 12 but less than 24 hours 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate for each calendar day you are in a travel status.
24 hours or more on the day of departure 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate Full days of travel 100 percent of the applicable M&IE rate The last day of travel 75 percent of the applicable M&IE rate. 24
FTR sections M&IE 301-11.102 What is the applicable M&IE rate? For days of travel which Your applicable M&IE rate is Require lodging The M&IE rate applicable for the TDY location or stopover point. Do not require lodging, and -Travel is more than 12 hours
but less than 24 hours. The M&IE rate applicable to the TDY site or the highest M&IE rate applicable when multiple locations are involved. -Travel is 24 hours or more, and you The M&IE rate applicable to the new are traveling to a new TDY site or TDY site or stopover point. stopover point at midnight. -Travel is 24 hours or more, and you The M&IE rate applicable to the are returning to your official station. previous day of travel. 25
FTR sections M&IE 301-11.200 Under what circumstances may my agency prescribe a reduced per diem rate lower than the prescribed maximum? Under the following circumstances: (a) When your agency can determine in advance that lodging and/or meal costs will be lower than the per diem rate; and (b) The lowest authorized per diem rate must be stated in your travel authorization in advance of your travel. Point of Contact Jill Denning
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