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New Per Diem Report Addresses Rate-Setting Process

GSA #10037

August 14, 2003
Contact: Viki Reath (202) 501-1231
viki.reath@gsa.gov

WASHINGTON--The General Services Administration's (GSA) Office of Governmentwide Policy today released the Governmentwide Per Diem Advisory Board Report, which contains recommendations for GSA's federal per diem rate-setting process and governmentwide lodging program.

GSA established the Governmentwide Per Diem Advisory Board in May 2002, under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, to review its per diem process and methodology and provide advice on best practices for a government-wide lodging program. The 13 board members represent national travel industry association executives and federal and state governments.

"This board has been instrumental in GSA's continuing process to streamline and improve Federal travel management," said Becky Rhodes, deputy associate administrator, Office of Transportation and Personal Property. GSA has adopted 14 of the recommendations for the FY 2004 per diem study and will host discussions with federal travel managers to determine the feasibility and timeline for implementing additional acceptable recommendations.

The board researched current federal government programs, alternative programs, processes, and methods to help GSA ensure that the 93,000 Federal employees on travel every business day can meet their mission requirements. The board's survey of more than 12,000 military and civilian travelers indicated that, while improvements can be made, most Federal employees are satisfied with their travel experiences. The per diem board's final report was posted on www.gsa.gov on Aug.13.

"The board recognizes that the Federal government and industry must work together to create recommendations for successful programs, and this Federal Advisory Committee has allowed us to do just that," said Lori Brooks, board chair. The board made more than 55 recommendations such as:

  • Using lodging industry data sources to establish lodging rates;
  • Using the private sector for the outsourcing of a Government hotel contracting program; and
  • Providing expanded feedback tools for the Federal traveler to alert GSA to any per diem problems.

    The board members were Lori Brooks, chairperson, representing the National Defense Transportation Association; Ashley DeJesu, Chair of the Government Lodging Subcommittee, and Director with Highwire, Inc.; Julienne Sugarek, Chair of the Per Diem Subcommittee and Manager with Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts; Bill Rivers, Vice Chairman and Director of GSA's Office of Federal Vehicle Management Policy and Program Executive for GSA's Federal Premier Lodging Program. The other board members were Cheryl Hutchinson, President, Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE); Jerome C. Molitor, Northrop Grumman Corporation; Scott Lamb, Society of Government Travel Professionals (SGTP), National Director of Sales – Government, Prime Hospitality Corp. AmeriSuites/Wellesley Inns & Suites; Roy Sammarco, Chief, Economics and Statistics Branch, Department of Defense; Mary Sarkis, American Hotel Lodging Association, Choice Hotels International; Juanita P. Stokes, Office of Allowances, United States; Department of State; Norm Wilson, Program Manager, Statewide Travel Management; Claudia Bonetti, Lockheed Martin Corporation; and Timothy J. Burke, GSA's Director of Travel Management Policy and Program Manager of GSA's Governmentwide E-Travel initiative. Rob L. Miller, Office of Governmentwide Policy, served as the Board's Designated Federal Officer.

    GSA is a centralized federal procurement and property management agency created by Congress to improve government efficiency and help federal agencies better serve the public. It acquires, on behalf of federal agencies, office space, equipment, telecommunications, information technology, supplies and services. GSA comprises 14,000 associates and provides services and solutions for the office operations of more than 1 million federal workers located in more than 8,000 government-owned and leased buildings in 2,000 U.S. communities.