The General Services Administration (GSA) this week released updated per diem rates for 2016, giving federal employees a bit more leeway for lodging and meals when they are traveling on official business.
The new rates, which will go into effect Oct. 1, allow employees to get reimbursed for $89 a day in lodging and $51 in meals.
The new rates were set based on recommendations from the Government-wide Travel Advisory Committee (GTAC), which includes members of the travel industry, Fortune 100 corporate travel managers, and federal travel experts. This year, the GTAC affirmed the lodging methodology and recommended the standard lodging rate be reviewed every year instead of every three years. Lodging per diem rates are based on local market costs of mid-priced hotels.
GSA also accepted a recommendation from GTAC to review the meals and incidental expense methodology for the first time since the 1980s.
“GSA developed a new methodology and conducted a pilot, and determined that a change would continue to provide fair reimbursement to employees as well as save future taxpayer dollars as compared to using the previous methodology,” GSA said on its blog.
The updated per diem rates were applauded by the lodging industry this week.
“Ensuring that per diem rates reflect the realities of the market has been a key priority of AH&LA and we applaud GSA’s efforts to ensure lodging rates reflect current market conditions,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association.