GSA has announced per diem rates for federal travelers effective with fiscal year 2020, starting October 1, rates that are closely watched by federal travelers who often complain that the amounts are inadequate and that they end up paying the difference out of their own pockets.
For most locations, standard rates apply. The standard lodging rate is rising from $94 to $96 a day and the standard meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) portion is remaining $55 a day.
There will be 322 destinations with specific rates, some of which vary seasonally. The highest lodging rates will remain close to $400 a day (in-season at several ski areas) although the large majority are much lower. The daily M&IE rate will continue to range between $55 and $76.
The Boise, Idaho (Ada County) area is being added as a new specific location; Park County, Mont., is being added to the Big Sky, Mont., area; and Missoula and Flathead Counties in Montana were separated into their two separate areas instead of one. Meanwhile, these locations that have had specific rates will fall under standard rates: Dover, Del. (Kent County); South Bend, Ind. (St. Joseph County); Benton Harbor/St. Joseph/Stevensville, Mich. (Berrien County); Lake County, Mont.; Medina County, Ohio; Aiken County, S.C.; and Sheboygan County, Wisc.
Under certain circumstances, agencies may reimburse travelers for costs above the applicable rates.