Information for Federal Agencies and Travelers
The foreign travel per diem allowance is a payment in lieu of reimbursement for actual subsistence expenses. It is provided to an employee and eligible dependents for daily expenses while on temporary travel status in the listed localities on official business away from an official post or assignment. The established rates are maximum amounts. Under travel regulations implemented by the General Services Administration and individual federal agencies, authorizing officials are required to reduce the maximum rates when necessary to maintain a level of payment consistent with necessary travel expenses.
All travelers are advised to request information on hotel discounts for U.S. Government employees when arranging for hotel reservations. They should also seek information on the possible avoidance of taxes or their refund upon return to the United States or their post of assignment.
Separate amounts are established for lodging and meals plus incidental travel expenses (M&IE). The maximum lodging amount is intended to substantially cover the cost of lodging at adequate, suitable and moderately-priced facilities. The M&IE portion is intended to substantially cover the cost of meals and incidental travel expenses such as laundry and dry cleaning.
The maximum per diem rates for foreign counties are based on costs reported in the Hotel and Restaurant Section (Form DSP-23W) submitted by foreign posts. This report includes prices for hotel rooms and meals at facilities representative of moderately prices and suitable hotels and restaurants most frequently used by typical federal travelers. The lodging portion of the allowance is based on average reported costs for a single room, including any mandatory service charges and taxes. Where breakfast or other meals are included in the reported lodging charge, these costs have been adjusted to exclude meals. The meal portion is based on the costs of an average breakfast, lunch, and dinner at facilities typically used by employees at that location, including taxes, service charges, and customary tips. The M&IE rate is based on these meal costs plus an additional amount, equal to 10% of the combined lodging and meal costs, to cover incidental travel expenses.
Requests for Per Diem Revisions
In order for the U.S. Department of State to maintain appropriate travel per diem rates in foreign areas, employees of the Federal Government who believe that the per diem rate authorized for a particular area is inappropriate for expenses normally encountered while on temporary duty are encouraged to notify their respective agency travel officials. Those agencies that receive complaints about a per diem rate for a locality where there is frequent travel may submit a request to the Department of State for review. This request should include cost data on lodging and meals using Form DSP-23W. This information must be submitted in accordance with instructions in sections 074.3 and 950 (pages 28-30) of the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas).
Bureau of Administration
MAXIMUM TRAVEL PER DIEM ALLOWANCES FOR FOREIGN AREAS
This Per Diem Supplement to the Standardized Regulations (Government Civilian, Foreign Areas) lists all foreign areas alphabetically. Where a country or island is listed it is intended to include all territory within the boundaries of that country or island including any off-shore islands in the same general vicinity. It will not include territories or possessions located elsewhere even though considered an integral part of the parent country or island. In such cases, no cost data pertinent to such territories and possessions were used in determining the established rates. When a political subdivision smaller than a country is named such as: states, provinces, departments, cities, towns, villages, etc.; it will include the corporate limits of such political subdivision or the limits of territory within the normal boundary thereof if it is not incorporated.
Establishment of Travel Per Diem Rates
The Department of State establishes the locality per diem for foreign areas, including the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands. The Per Diem Travel and Transportation Allowances Committee of the Department of Defense establishes the locality per diem rates for Alaska, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianna Islands and territories and possessions of the United States. The Administrator of General Services establishes the locality per diem rates in CONUS (the conterminous United States). These CONUS rates are published in the Federal Travel Regulations.