Travel Per Diems Aren’t Changing in Fiscal 2015

Flickr user Jason Kuffer

Government travel per diem rates will not change in fiscal 2015, according to the General Services Administration.

“The standard lodging per diem rate will remain at $83,” according to a notice published in Friday’s Federal Register. “The meals and incidental expense tiers also remain unchanged for fiscal 2014 and range from $46-$71.”

While the standard rates apply to about 2,600 counties, 400 additional “non-standard areas” -- or NSAs -- receive individual calculations. Feds traveling in more expensive cities receive higher rates of reimbursements. For example, feds heading to Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area currently receive a lodging per diem of between $167 and $224, depending on the time of year, and a $71 per diem for meals and incidental expenses. San Francisco ranges from $189 to $226 for lodging, while lodging rates for New York City and its boroughs fluctuate between $191 and $303 per day. For fiscal 2015, GSA has renamed the Manhattan NSA “New York City” to more accurately reflect that it no longer sets individual rates for Manhattan and the other four boroughs.

Beginning in fiscal 2015, two more locations will move into the NSA category: Kayenta, Ariz., and San Angelo, Texas. GSA is shifting five locations that were NSA in fiscal 2014 to the standard or CONUS (Continental United States) category for fiscal 2015: Glenwood Springs/Grand Junction, Colo.; Lakeville, Conn.; Chesapeake/Suffolk, Va.; Lake Geneva, Wis.; and Sheridan, Wyo.

The fiscal 2015 per diem rates and other changes take effect Oct. 1, 2014.

GSA establishes per diem rates for lodging, meals and incidental expenses in the continental United States. A standard per diem is applied in locations less commonly traveled by federal workers, while nonstandard areas frequently visited are granted individual rates based on the average daily industry rate.

Federal employees received a slight increase in rates in fiscal 2014 after GSA froze fiscal 2013 travel reimbursement rates for lodging and other related expenses at fiscal 2012 levels. The freeze was part of the Office of Management and Budget’s directive to agencies to reduce all travel spending in fiscal 2013 by 30 percent compared to fiscal 2010.

(Image via Flickr user Jason Kuffer)

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