GSA likely will soon announce the per diem rates for federal travelers to be effective for the fiscal year starting October 1; the last several years the announcement has come in August. The annual announcement is closely watched by federal travelers, who often complain that they end up paying costs out of their own pockets. GSA commonly raises lodging rates by a few dollars at many destinations—although there have been decreases at times—and also commonly changes some dates of seasonal rates, for destinations whose rates vary seasonally. There are about 400 destinations with specific lodging rates ranging to above $300 a day; for locations without specific rates, the standard rate is $89 a day. The announcement also sets the “meals and incidental expenses” reimbursement rates for non-lodging costs, which currently range from $51 to $74 a day, with the lower number being the standard for locations without separate lodging rates. GSA meanwhile has released rates effective October 1 under its “city pairs” program, which provides pre-negotiated rates at about a 50 percent discount for air travel.
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