Federal employees who will be traveling for business in 2018 are getting a very small increase in their per diem rates starting this fall.
The General Services Administration recently announced the 2018 per diem rates that go into effect on October 1, 2017.
Federal employees traveling within the continental United States will see a 2.2% increase in their lodging allowance for next fiscal year. It is increasing from $91 to $93; meals and incidentals remain the same as FY 2017 at $51 for a combined standard CONUS per diem rate of $144.
The standard CONUS rate covers the lower 48 Continental United States (CONUS) which encompasses about 2,600 counties. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, there are 332 Non-Standard Areas (NSAs) that have per diem rates higher than the standard CONUS rate.
By law, GSA sets these rates annually. Based on local market costs of mid-priced hotels, lodging per diem rates provide caps, or maximum amounts, that can be reimbursed to federal employees for lodging and meals while on official travel. As an additional savings measure, GSA’s methodology includes taking five percent off of the final average daily rate in each location.
The new rates can be found on the GSA website at http://www.gsa.gov/perdiem. Rates can be looked up for an area on the website or via a mobile app, or the complete database of rates can be downloaded.