GSA raises lodging per diem

Standard rate will rise by $10 per night; rates will be even more in some metropolitan areas.

The General Services Administration announced Monday that it will raise the standard lodging per diem next fiscal year for federal employees who travel within the continental United States.

The new rate will be $70 per night, up from $60 in fiscal 2007, according to an announcement in the Federal Register. The meals and incidental expenses per diem will stay at $39.

GSA developed the higher rate from lodging industry estimates of average nightly cost. The new rates apply for fiscal 2008, which will begin Oct. 1.

Although the standard per diem applies to locations within the continental United States, most metropolitan centers have their own, often higher, per diem allowances. In areas such as Manhattan and Washington, D.C., per diem allowances vary by season.

The Washington per diem, for instance, will be $201 per night for lodging in 2008, except for next July and August, when it will be $154 per night. Meals and incidental expenses will be $64 per day year-round.

GSA also designated two Virginia towns as nonstandard areas. Both Abingdon and Blacksburg were previously classified as standard areas. The per diem for Abingdon will be $72 per night for lodging and $49 for meals. The per diem for Blacksburg will be $77 per night, with $54 for meals and incidentals.

The complete set of per diem rates for fiscal 2008, broken down by location and season, is available at GSA's Web site.

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