GSA freezes 2013 per diem travel rates

Officials at the General Services Administration will keep 2012 levels for per diem rates for the next fiscal year to cut travel costs, according to an Aug. 14 announcement.

Keeping the per diem travel reimbursement rates for fiscal year 2013 at current 2012 levels will save nearly $20 million in avoided costs, officials said in a statement. The decision supports an Office of Management and Budget directive that requires agencies to slash travel spending in FY 2013 by 30 percent compared to FY 2010.

The action also aligns with Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini’s ongoing top-to-bottom assessment of how GSA conducts its business.

“GSA is undergoing a rigorous review process to find ways in which we can streamline agency operations and save money across the government,” Tangherlini said. ”By keeping per diem rates at current levels, we are supporting federal agencies in controlling costs and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used wisely.”

FY13 per diem rates kick in Oct. 1. Current rates are available on GSA’s Per Diem web page.

About the Author

Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Wed, Aug 15, 2012 OccupyIT

Once again GSA is out of touch with reality and using the most backward and indirect justifications (in the name of the taxpayer) to not do their job. Their job is to save money by making sure pricing is FAIR AND REASONABLE not by using their unaccountable power to transfer costs to government employees travelling on bone fide business. They are the worst sort of evil - ignorance.

Wed, Aug 15, 2012

Per Diem rates are suppose to be set according to the current costs of the travel location. So, if the rates are not adjusted even though costs increase, who pays? It appears that travelers might in cost or effort. Lodging per diem is an agreed amount with hotels/motels. So will hotels/motels drop off the list of Government providers because of the low rate, leaving fewer choices AND available rooms? Or will more travel orders become designated as 'actual cost' because in order to obtain a room, a higher than the allowed lodging rate was the only one available? As for per diem for meals, will the traveler be expected to eat only at low cost establishments (fast food franchises) to stay inside the per diem? It could be said that for some locations, the 2012 per diem rate will be high for 2013, however, decrease per diem rates are unusual and Government travelers don't normally travel in such a way that locations and cost would balance out.

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