The U.S. General Services Administration for the 2013 fiscal
year froze lodging and meal per diem rates at current levels. GSA reportedly
had been considering a new methodology that would have taken upper upscale hotel
rates out of the equation and significantly cut lodging per diems in key major
The U.S. Travel Association, American Hotel & Lodging
Association and several other travel industry representatives had been lobbying
aggressively against a methodology change, saying it would effectively price
those traveling at per diem rates—which also includes many private corporations
traveling on government business—out of many major city centers.
GSA said freezing per diem rates would provide about $20
million in cost avoidance during the 2013 fiscal year and help achieve the 30
percent travel spending decrease compared with FY 2010 ordered by the Obama Administration via a memorandum from the Office of Management and Budget. "By
keeping per diem rates at current levels, we are supporting federal agencies in
controlling costs and ensuring that taxpayer dollars are used wisely,"
according to GSA acting administrator Dan Tangherlini.
The U.S. government's fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through
U.S. Travel president and CEO Roger Dow in a letter to
members today claimed the decision "was reached because so many industry
leaders sent a clear message that travel is an essential tool for the
government and critical to local economies."