Service members and Civilians receive a set amount for meals according to their TDY location. This has been useful in the past to ensure the individual is fully aware of their spending limitations and ensure they are fully compensated. What it has turned into was a way for individuals to put some extra money in their pockets. Most hotels offer some sort of complimentary breakfast and there is also a trend for hotels serving snacks in the evenings. Defense Travel System (DTS) has the capability to accurately track and report detailed TDY information.
Suggestion: The meals should still be limited to a set amount and broken down by meal. Any reimbursement of expenditures of meals must accompanied by substantiating documentation. Account for every expense, stay within allocated amount, no reimbursement for expenses beyond allocated amount.
Key points: Only reimburse actual expenditures; require substantiated documents for any reimbursement; track travel times, departures and returns (Base meal authorizations off travel times );do away with proportional Per Diem on travel days. If allowed $34 and they spend $20 they should only be reimbursed $20. Could reduce cost for meals by 40 to 50 percent, per traveler.