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Department of Commerce

Actual Expense Reimbursement for Gov. Travel

Eliminate the automatic payout of full per diem for MI&E. Most employees pocket this money and eat at the hotel for free or eat cheap. Very few, if any, actually use the full per diem. By paying back the employee for actual expenses incurred this will save the government billions over the years. I was recently relocated and had to use this method and found it very difficult to use the full per diem rate, even if I went out of my way to try. A lot of people will say that this will cause to much work going through receipts for the admin department. Well, that is pretty much their job. So they will either get paid to go through your receipts or play Hearts, either way they get paid the same amount. Also, people should pay for meals on the travel card and not need a receipt. They should be able to itemize the meals with the travel card statement as proof. They could also institute a rule where no receipt is required for meals less than say $20. This will eliminate most receipt hoarding. Now people will argue that travelers will claim the $20 per meal and still eat at the hotel for free. This is true and will happen. But three meals at $20 is still less than the full per diem is almost all cities.

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Idea No. 3085