The impact COVID-19 has had on the world is still being felt by all, and GSA’s Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) are no exception. GSA has recently released two FTR Bulletins to address relocation delays and increases in hotel prices. The first, effective on June 30, 2022, extends the waiver of certain provisions of the FTR governing official relocation travel and renewal agreement travel (RAT) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This temporary waiver allows agencies to determine whether time limits established by FTR for completion of all aspects of relocation should be applied because of the uncertainty created by COVID-19. See FTR Bulletin 22-07 for additional details.
The second, on August 16, 2022, GSA announced changes to per diem after GSA performed their FY 2023 per diem reimbursement rate review. The review resulted in an increase in the maximum lodging allowance rates in some per diem localities. Additionally, the standard CONUS lodging rate increased from $96 to $98. No changes were made to the M&IE per diem tiers, which were also reviewed. Note that this bulletin only applies to travel performed on or after October 1, 2022. For details see FTR Bulletin 23-01. Below is a table summarizing the change:
New Standard CONUS Lodging Rate
|New Rate||Old Rate||Increase (Change)|
We recommend updating travel policies, templates, and systems to accommodate these changes. In addition, pricing templates should be revised to account for the increases.