GSA has issued final rules on several issues affecting federal employees who travel on official business. One seeks to further increase the use of government-issued travel charge cards—where spending earns rebates to the government—by limiting the exemptions to the general requirements to use those cards on travel. Under the final rules, those with cards must use them unless that is impractical—for example, if the vendor does not accept the cards–the vendor imposes additional fees for making a charge, or when the agency determines it is not in the best interests of the agency. The rule also specifies that agencies may exempt employees from using the card if that “would adversely affect the mission or put the employee at risk.” The other set of rules cancels a proposal to make ATM fees part of the standard daily meals and incidentals expense allowance, and thus not separately reimbursable, after receiving numerous comments opposing the proposed change. It meanwhile clarifies that expenses for laundry, cleaning and pressing of clothes are reimbursable at the agency’s discretion, but only for those on at least four consecutive nights of travel and only within the contiguous states.
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