The General Services Administration announced Wednesday a slight increase in lodging fees for federal employees traveling in fiscal year 2023.
Each fiscal year, GSA updates the reimbursement rates it provides to federal employees traveling on official business based on the average daily rate at hotels in each region of the continental United States. After keeping rates flat for 2022 due to falling hotel prices amid the COVID-19 pandemic, starting Oct. 1, the agency will raise the base lodging rate from $96 per night to $98 per night.
Conversely, after increasing standard daily reimbursement rates for meals and incidentals by $3 last year, GSA said it will maintain the current base rate of $59 for fiscal year 2023. Nonstandard rates will also remain within the $59 range. -$79.
Currently, there are 319 locations within the US designated as non-standard areas that are subject to their own fees higher than the standard amount. But in October, the GSA announced it would drop three of those regions and return their per diem rates to the standard continental U.S. rate: Cromwell and Old Saybrook, Conn., El Paso, Texas, and Rock Springs, Wyo.
GSA offers a tool where federal employees can view per diem rates across the continental US in fiscal year 2023 on its website.
OPM Establishes Federal Leave Transfer Program for Kentucky Disaster Affected States
The Office of Personnel Management last week announced it is establishing an emergency furlough transfer program for federal employees who have been adversely affected by the recent severe storms in Kentucky.
Heavy rain in the eastern part of the state led to flooding as well as mudslides and landslides, and 38 people lost their lives. Last month, President Biden approved a national disaster declaration for the state related to the flood.
In a memo to agency heads, OPM Director Kiran Ahuja encouraged agencies to set up leave banks so that employees in other parts of the country can donate unused leave to help workers get paid time off for to recover from the disaster.
“Agencies with employees adversely affected by the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and mudslides in Kentucky in 2022 are in the best position to determine whether, and how much, donated annual leave is needed by their employees and which of their employees have been negatively affected by the emergency,” she wrote. “They are also in the best position to quickly facilitate the transfer of donated annual leave within their agencies.”
Agencies are expected to determine which employees need donated leave to recover from the storm and educate those employees about the availability of donated leave. Employees who wish to take advantage of donated emergency leave must apply in writing to their agencies. Those unable to do so may apply through a personal representative.
“Agencies should contact OPM for assistance in obtaining additional donated annual leave from other agencies only if they do not receive sufficient amounts of donated leave to meet the needs of emergency leave recipients within the agency,” Ahuja wrote. “Based on the request for donated leave, OPM will request and coordinate the transfer of donated annual leave between federal agencies.”