Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Traveling feds to get lower reimbursements

By Ed O'Keefe

Eye Opener

The federal government will shell out less money to employees traveling to Washington and most metropolitan areas on official business starting in October, according to new figures.

The General Services Administration, which handles most purchases for government agencies, sets the standard daily travel reimbursement rate at $123 -- $77 for lodging and $46 for meals and incidentals. But about 400 "Non-Standard Areas" -- mostly major metropolitan cities and counties -- have higher rates based on a formula generated by GSA in consultation with the lodging industry that accounts for rental rates, time of year and property value.

Depending on the time of year, daily reimbursement rates for travel to Washington plus meals and other incidentals will drop between $18 and $36 per day starting in October with the new fiscal year, according to GSA (Review the Excel document). The lower rates appear to reflect weakened hotel prices due to the slumping economy.

Federal employees who travel for work keep close tabs on the varying reimbursement rates and often complain that they're forced to subsidize official travel out of pocket because the rates don't always cover all expenses. Washington's lodging industry also track the rate since it effectively sets a number above which a hotel would price itself out of business from traveling feds.

For example, hotel reimbursement rates in Washington this month are $170 and $229 next month, plus $71 a day for meals and incidentals. But in fiscal 2011 the room reimbursement rate will drop to $157 in August and $211 in September (the meal rate will stay the same).

By comparison, feds traveling to New York City can expect combined hotel and meal reimbursements between $262 and $340, a drop during most months. Feds headed to Las Vegas -- a popular convention destination -- will receive $164 in reimbursements -- about a $20 decline. And federal officials visiting New Orleans -- a popular destination for hurricane and BP oil spill-related issues -- can expect reimbursements between $169 and $202, a slight drop from this year.

Researcher Eric Yoder contributed to this report.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

Cabinet and Staff News: President Obama speaks tonight about Iraq, but will anybody notice? Vice President Joe Biden visits Iraq as the drawdown nears. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today set to discuss early retirees and the new health-care reform law.

CIA training Sudan's spies as Obama officials fight over policy: It’s officially been branded by Washington as a terrorist state, but the agency continues to train and equip Sudan’s intelligence service in the name of fighting terrorism.

Civil liberties groups sue over U.S. effort to kill U.S. terrorism suspects: The groups argued that the Constitution and international law prohibit targeted killings absent a trial and due process, except as a last resort to prevent specific and imminent threats of death or serious injury.

Blasts kill at least 7 US troops in Afghanistan: The spike in deaths comes as President Hamid Karzai has publicly raised doubts about the U.S. strategy in the war.

EPA develops grading system for new car stickers: The agency introduced proposed new window stickers that would appear on new vehicles beginning in the 2012 model year.

Inspection of egg farms uncovered several problems: Federal inspections found widespread safety problems, including barns infested with flies, maggot and rodents

Weather delays hit final plugging of BP's well: A new blowout preventer will be placed atop the well once the failed one is raised. After that, the goal is to drill the final 50 feet of a relief well.

Border sweeps in North reach miles into U.S.: Little-publicized transportation checks on Amtrak trains are the result of the Border Patrol’s growth since 9/11, fueled by Congressional antiterrorism spending and an expanding definition of border jurisdiction.

National Guard to arrive at Arizona-Mexico border: More soldiers will be sent each Monday until 532 have joined the mission, the Guard said.

Follow The Federal Eye on Twitter | Submit your news tips here

By Ed O'Keefe  | August 31, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: FAA: 45+ close calls in D.C.-area skies this year
Next: FEMA preparing for Hurricane Earl


This makes sense - what makes it deserving of a column?

Posted by: vagaf31 | August 31, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

My employer doesn't pay for my breakfast, my lunch or my dinner, why should a worthless bureaucrat get paid-for meals, paid for by raping our grandchildrens' futures?

Posted by: jiji1 | August 31, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

because when im on the road for the government, doing your business, i can't make my breakfast, lunch and dinner at home as i typically do, so you have to pay for it. i wouldn't be on the road, but for the work you need done, so you pay for my meals while im on travel, for you.

Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | September 1, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

you don't travel for me, stupid teabagger, you travel to rape the future of my grandchildren

teabaggers living large to rape the future

your time is coming

Posted by: jiji1 | September 1, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Jiji1, when I have to travel and stay in a hotel 4 days a week, away from my family and all the things I want to do at home, I'm NOT doing it to get money - I'm doing it to complete an essential mission I've been sent to complete. You seem to think travel is a reward of some sort. You're wrong - it is an inconvenience, and almost none of us want to do it - but we have to.

Posted by: dianelpa | September 1, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

teabagger? my handle shows im a liberal, im no bagger. you're the anti-gov't wingnut. im the public servant.


Posted by: anarcho-liberal-tarian | September 2, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

really? "essential mission?"

there are probably millions of people who could do your "essential mission" and not demand $71 a day ($2201 a month) merely for food.

but you wouldn't want to have to mix with the unwashed masses, now would you? do you get a security posse to go on your "essential mission" too?

Posted by: jiji1 | September 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company