The 2011 Per Diem Rate drop was one of the largest experienced in the last decade. With many of the current budget woes still being ironed out, the federal government saw the 2011 GSA travel schedule as a large area of the budget where money could be saved. The reduction in 2011 per diem rates affected nearly every major government travel location in major cities and towns surrounding DoD installations. In all, roughly 75% of the locations saw a reduction in overall rates.
GSA & DOD Per Diem Lodging Rates
Per diem lodging rates greatly affect both government travelers, and the lodging providers that cater to federal civilians and DoD personnel or contractors operating under the guidelines of the GSA travel schedule. Government and military personnel receive a maximum per diem rate for lodging which is has a cap based on the geographic location. A per diem rate calculator provided on the GSA website allows travelers to check the per diem rate by zip code in order to find out the maximum allowance for both meals and lodging. The 2011 Per Diem Rates drop in many cities has forced hotels and corporate housing companies to reduce many of the amenities and incentives previously offered to the government travel community. Unfortunately in areas where the per diem rate dropped 5-10 percent, many hotels and extended stay providers were forced to cut amenities like free newspapers, wireless Internet, and complimentary breakfast, so really no one wins in the event of a per diem rate decrease.
Per Diem Rates for 2012, Increase or Drop?
The 2012 per diem rates will be released on or before the beginning of the new fiscal year for the federal government beginning October 1, 2011. The rates can either change or stay the same, but after the large dip in the travel allowance last year, government travelers and the lodging providers that cater to them hope for a 2012 per diem rate increase in many of the locations. There’s a lot of buzz going around within the military and government communities as to whether there will be a significant 2012 Per Diem Rate Increase or Drop. In the end it helps both our military and federal government personnel as well as the local economy when there is an increase. Let’s see what happens…