why do we send staff to "train the trainer" classes only to have them teach the class to staff at an offsite location in different cities? this is happening with most of the PACT training. 20-30 staff members are being sent with the "trainer" to cities that require several overnight stays, travel expense and per diem. Classes should either be conducted at the facility or at a location that does not require unnecessary ...more »
Many federal employees make money off of government travel. Employees should be held more accountable when reporting Meals and Incidental expenses (M&IE). Many hotels offer free breakfast/lunch/dinner but employees do not report this on the travel reimbursement forms. Sometimes employees go under the per diem for meals but still claim the full per diem. This is wasting government money. Improve GovTrip to account for ...more »
I have stayed on official business in hotel accommodations in three countries, and I believe the perdiem amounts are too generous by at least 5-10%. Safe accommodations and food do not necessarily have to cost five-star prices. Many hotels, knowing the government rate, charge right up to the maximum. Per diems should be reviewed more frequently, and the process should be examined.
Having staff go on details and paying for their flight, per diem, and loding when the work could be shipped to them at a fraction of the cost. Ship their work to them and have them do details at their duty station if possible to save on costs.
Some agencies do not request the actual cost of lodging and pay federal employees that travel the lodging per diem. Federal employees travelling to large cities often find loding under per diem, but have no way of reporting it so the government pays the full per diem when we could be saving thousands by paying the actual cost of lodging up to GSA per diem rates.
The current structure does not provide any incentive for reducing travel expense by finding a hotel under the per diem rate. If the rate in a city is $90 per night but there are hotels offered for $60, the traveler would not select the lesser expensive hotel. There should be a system in place to split the savings between both the traveler and government. 50/50 would suffice, but this could be adjusted. Using the above ...more »
If a traveler has a family member or knows a friend at the TDY location, allow the traveler to make arrangements to stay with them and reimburse them for 50% of the allowable per deim rate for hotel stays in that area. I frequently travel to Washington and stay overnight. The per diem rate for a hotel stay was $211 in June. If I stayed with my sister, who lives in Alexandria, I could give her $105 for each night's ...more »
I have never been a fan of online courses, particularly ones where a student simply clicks through a set of slides. However, online course delivery has evolved into a format that is not only cheaper, but one which can actually provide a higher-quality learning experience than a traditional classroom. Universities around the world are now providing virtual classrooms for their students. I encourage you to view MIT’s free ...more »
As a federal employee, whenever I travel on official business, I am granted compensation for my meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) at a rate usually set by GSA, but also set by DoD or DoS in some jurisdictions. If I do not spend up to the compensation rate, I pocket any excess (untaxed I might add). At least this is how it works in DoD. I have rarely ever spent up to the M&IE rates, despite generally eating well. ...more »
There is an average amount (or more appropriately, percentage of the maximum) employees spend on travel expenses. This amount is almost certainly extremely close to the maximum allowed (or 100%), and certainly not the minimum possible. Employees should be compensated for spending less than this average amount, for instance, 50% of the savings. As an example, if I spend $60/night at a hotel instead of the average $90/night ...more »
Do not allow for a traveler to select a per diem location 'near' the meeting location when that selected location pays a higher per diem than the meeting location. Often travellers will select a nearby town for their hotel simply because the per diem is higher. This should be explicitly dis-allowed. And the time spent by the traveller complaining they don't get to choose where they want to stay should be on their own ...more »
Encourage employees to choose the lowest hotel rate below the Per Diem by giving them 10% of the amount below the Per Diem. Example, if the Per Diem is $200 and the final hotel bill is $100, the traveler would receive 10% of the amount below the Per Diem - $10.