Require that approved hotels provide government employees on official travel with room rates that are at the per-diem rate for that area. Currently, some hotels only allocate a certain number of rooms at the government rate; once these are booked up, government either has to cover the additional expense, or employees have to search for alternate lodging. A case in point occurred this past month, when an area with a $116 per diem rate had few approved lodging that had rooms left. The normal rate of $189 would have meant $292 more for a 4-night stay. The per diem rate was finally honored, but only after several hours of research and negotiation, at an estimated government cost of more than $500 in employee time. Thus, having a regulation that requires that hotels honor the government rate for any rooms available would could save HUNDREDS OF DOLLARS PER EMPLOYEE PER TRIP.
Idea No. 2540