GSA Considering Sharply Lower Per Diem Rates, Industry Sources Say

July 6, 2012

Feds may see sharply lower per diem rates when they travel beginning in October.

The General Services Administration is considering lowering lodging per diems by up to 30 percent, say travel industry officials familiar with a GSA proposal.

GSA recently discussed with travel industry officials the possibility that it will revise how it calculates average per diems by removing more costly hotels from its averages — lowering the resulting per diem.

Lower per diems would mean fewer choices for federal travelers, said Shawn McBurney, senior vice president of governmental affairs at American Hotel and Lodging Association, who is familiar with GSA's proposal. He estimated that about 85 percent of Washington, D.C., hotels charge rates that would exceed per diems if GSA uses the new methodology. 

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