The General Services Administration (GSA) establishes per diem rates for the Continental United States (CONUS). The DOD Per Diem, Travel and Transportation Allowance Committee (PDTATAC) establishes all travel per diem allowances annually for non-foreign areas outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS)—Hawaii and Alaska are based on the State Department Hotel and Restaurant report.
DoD Per Diem Rates
Per diem rates are an allowance for federal or state travelers on an official government or military assignment. Government travelers include uniformed military personnel, DoD (Department of Defense) civilians, federal or state government employees, and most government contractors. DoD per diem rates are set by the GSA (General Services Administration) and provide a reimbursement allowance up to the Maximum Military Per Diem Rates allowed by city and travel location.
FY 2015-2016 DoD Per Diem Rate Query Calculator
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Lodging, Meals, & Incidental Rates
The per diem rate has three main components: lodging, meals, and incidentals. Official travelers on assignment within the U.S. (including non-continental locations) should note that the lodging per diem rate does not include lodging taxes. All lodging (hotel or furnished rental taxes) are reimbursable as a separate line item expense. The lodging component of the per diem is the only part of per diem applicable to the Privatization of Army Lodging PAL Program.
Per Diem Location Rates & Changes
Federal travelers staying in one of the Defense Lodging System’s Per Diem Hotels are automatically reimbursed for all actual lodging costs not to exceed the DoD lodging per diem for the assignment location. Travelers are not allowed to pocket any savings in lodging costs and are not reimbursed lodging costs beyond the per diem. Over time the standard and non-standard areas may change based on travel cost data. Every year rates are adjusted by the GSA per diem scale as needed to keep up with changes in travel costs.
GSA Per Diem Rate Adjustments
The GSA updates per diem rates annually on October 1st and rates either increase, decrease, or stay the same. At present there is a standard lodging rate for the Continental United States which covers over 3,000 counties and individual lodging rates for 400 non-standard areas.