Fedweek

GSA likely will soon announce new per diem rates for federal travelers for the fiscal year starting October 1, an announcement that in recent years has come in the first weeks of August.

The annual announcement always is 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.

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Also being watched this year is the potential impact of the downturn in the hospitality industry due to the pandemic. However, the discounts that have followed may not be reflected, at least not fully, in the new per diem rates since those rates are based on a 12-month period ending each March, before the main impact was felt.

Standard rates apply for most locations: currently $96 a day for lodging and $55 per day for the meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) portion.

There are more than 300 destinations with specific rates, some of which vary seasonally. The highest lodging rates are close to $400 a day (in-season at several ski areas) although the large majority are much lower. The daily M&IE rate for specific locations currently ranges between $56 and $76.

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