Re: Use of federal per diems for travel reimbursement Liane Reif-Lehrer 23 Feb 2001 10:09 EST
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In my experience, when I travel for universities, I get reimbursed
according to receipts I submit. When I travel for a gov't
institution, I get the gov't rate which does not realistically cover
any reasonable meals. So, unless I want to eat at Burger King, I
just take the difference as a business expense.
It is particularly amusing that the hotels where I get put up for
gov't "gigs" give a special gov't rate for the hotel room but not for
meals. As I usually do not have a car, I am essentially bound to eat
in the hotel where they put me up. Hotel meals generally add up to
much more than the gov't per diem, even if one eats very modestly.
>At my institution we are currently looking at our current policy of
>reimbursing travel expenses based on submission of receipts for actual meal
>and hotel costs. It has been suggested to us that we pay our travelers the
>federal per diems in order to simplify life for our Accounting department.
>Concerns have been voiced about the adequacy of the federal per diems. I
>have investigated the travel policies of a number of large research
>institutions and find that some institutions use the federal per diem
>allowances and some have set reimbursement levels that are higher than the
>federal levels. For those of you operating under policies that allow per
>diem reimbursement at rates above the federal levels, have you experienced
>questions in audits and have you entered into negotiations with your
>cognizant audit agencies to establish that the reimbursement levels in your
>policies are reasonable and allowable?
>Education Development Center, Inc.
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