Today we released the fiscal year (FY) 2015 travel per diem rates, which will take effect on October 1, 2014. By law, each year GSA sets these rates for the Continental United States. The rates are based on local market costs of mid-priced hotels and provide caps, or maximum amounts, that can be reimbursed to federal employees for lodging and meals while on official travel. As an additional savings measure, the methodology GSA uses to set lodging per diem rates includes taking five percent off of the final average daily rate in each location.
Over the last year, GSA’s Governmentwide Travel Advisory Committee reviewed existing travel policies, processes, and procedures for federal government travelers, beginning with the methodology by which annual adjustments are made to the Federal Per Diem rate. The committee provided suggestions on ways the government can save money on other aspects of travel spend. This group, made up of travel managers from Fortune 100 private sector organizations, travel industry representatives, and federal travel experts, affirmed the lodging per diem methodology was sound, and will present its final recommendations to the GSA Administrator at the end of calendar year 2014.
In addition to setting per diem rates, GSA also provides agencies with travel policies and tools to further reduce costs. These are a part of GSA’s ongoing commitment to responsible spending. We also continue to revise and strengthen our own internal travel and conference policies.
In recent years, the Administration has taken steps to reduce travel and conference spending. We have implemented strict policies and controls to ensure that all travel and conference expenditures are cost-effective and advancing the goals of federal agencies. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released clear guidance directing agencies to reduce travel costs by 30 percent. These efforts have had a significant impact on travel spending, showing a decline from nearly $17 billion of travel activity in FY2010 to under $12 billion in FY2013. At the same time, there are always circumstances in which travel is necessary. Federal employees routinely have to travel to serve the American people. This means fulfilling responsibilities that range from inspecting the food we eat to assisting victims of natural disasters. Each agency must ensure that any spending serves the American people as efficiently and effectively as possible.
For more information on FY 2015 travel per diem rates, please visit www.gsa.gov/perdiem. You can also download GSA’s per diem app on your iPhone, Android, or BlackBerry devices.