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Federal Travel Regulation; Maximum Per Diem Rates

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Office of Governmentwide Policy, GSA.

ACTION:

Final rule.

SUMMARY:

An analysis of lodging and meal cost survey data reveals that the listing of maximum per diem rates for locations within the continental United States (CONUS) should be updated to provide for the reimbursement of Federal employees' expenses covered by per diem. This final rule increases/decreases the maximum lodging amounts in certain existing per diem localities, adds new per diem localities, and removes a number of previously designated per diem localities. In an effort to improve the efficiency of the per diem rate-setting process, GSA has switched the per diem rate changes from the traditional calendar year schedule to a fiscal year schedule. Thus, the annual change to per diem rates will coincide with the budget planning process. Therefore, beginning this year, the per diem rates will be effective on October 1, the start of the fiscal year.

DATES:

This final rule is effective October 1, 2000, and applies for travel performed on or after October 1, 2000.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Joddy Garner, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Travel Management Policy Division, at 202 501-1538.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

The General Services Administration (GSA), after an analysis of additional data, has determined that current lodging and meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) allowances for certain localities do not adequately reflect the cost of lodging in those areas. To provide adequate per diem reimbursement for Federal employee travel to those areas, the maximum per diem allowances are changed.

B. Executive Order 12866

GSA has determined that this final rule is not a significant regulatory action for the purposes of Executive Order 12866 of September 30, 1993.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

This final rule is not required to be published in the Federal Register for notice and comment; therefore, the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601 et seq., does not apply.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because this final rule does not impose recordkeeping or information collection requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, contractors, or members of the public which require the approval of the Office of Management and Budget under 44 U.S.C. 501 et seq.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

This final rule is also exempt from congressional review prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency management and personnel.

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List of Subjects in 41 CFR Chapter 301

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For the reasons set forth in the preamble, under

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1. Appendix A to chapter 301 is revised to read as follows:

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Appendix A to Chapter 301—Prescribed Maximum Per Diem Rates for CONUS

The maximum rates listed below are prescribed under part 301-11 of this chapter for reimbursement of per diem expenses incurred during official travel within CONUS (the continental United States). The amount shown in column (a) is the maximum that will be reimbursed for lodging expenses excluding taxes. The M&IE rate shown in column (b) is a fixed amount allowed for meals and incidental expenses covered by per diem. The per diem payment calculated in accordance with part 301-11 of this chapter for lodging expenses plus the M&IE rate may not exceed the maximum per diem rate shown in column (c). Seasonal rates apply during the periods indicated. It is the policy of the Government, as reflected in the Hotel Motel Fire Safety Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-391, September 25, 1990 as amended by Public Law 105-85, November 18, 1997), referred to as “the Act” in this appendix, to save lives and protect property by promoting fire safety in hotels, motels, and all places of public accommodation affecting commerce. In furtherance of the Act's goals, employees are encouraged to stay in a facility which is fire-safe, i.e., an approved accommodation, when commercial lodging is required. Lodgings that meet the Government requirements are listed on the U.S. Fire Administration's Internet site at http://www.usfa.fema.gov/​hotel/​index.cfm.

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1 Unless otherwise specified, the per diem locality is defined as “all locations within, or entirely surrounded by, the corporate limits of the key city, including independent entities located within those boundaries.”

2 Per diem localities with county definitions shall include “all locations within, or entirely surrounded by, the corporate limits of the key city as well as the boundaries of the listed counties, including independent entities located within the boundaries of the key city and the listed counties (unless otherwise listed separately).”

3 When a military installation or Government-related facility (whether or not specifically named) is located partially within more than one city or county boundary, the applicable per diem rate for the entire installation or facility is the higher of the two rates which apply to the cities and/or counties, even though part(s) of such activities may be located outside the defined per diem locality.

4 Federal agencies may submit a request to GSA for review of the costs covered by per diem in a particular city or area where the standard CONUS rate applies when travel to that location is repetitive or on a continuing basis and travelers' experiences indicate that the prescribed rate is inadequate. Other per diem localities listed in this appendix will be reviewed on an annual basis by GSA to determine whether rates are adequate. Requests for per diem rate adjustments shall be submitted by the agency headquarters office to the General Services Administration, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Attn: Travel Management Policy Division (MTT), Washington, DC 20405. Agencies should designate an individual responsible for reviewing, coordinating, and submitting to GSA any requests from bureaus or subagencies. Requests for rate adjustments shall include a city designation, a description of the surrounding location involved (county or other defined area), and a recommended rate supported by a statement explaining the circumstances that cause the existing rate to be inadequate. The request also must contain an estimate of the annual number of trips to the location, the average duration of such trips, and the primary purpose of travel to the location.

5 The standard CONUS rate of $85 ($55 for lodging and $30 for M&IE) applies to all per diem localities in the State of North Dakota.

Note:

Recognizing that all locations are incorporated cities, the term “city limits” has been used as a general phrase to denote the commonly recognized local boundaries of the location cited.

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Dated: August 21, 2000.

David J. Barram,

Administrator of General Services.

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BILLING CODE 6820-34-U

[FR Doc. 00-22077 Filed 8-31-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6820-34-C