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Travel Costs

Frequently Asked Questions

Our agency is about to award a contract for professional services but the vendor has per diem rates that are higher than what I found on the GSA Per Diem website for our area. We are using federal funds for this project and my understanding is that we are not allowed to pay more than the GSA per diem rates but I cannot find such regulation. Can you point me to the language that allows us to enforce the GSA rates on the vendor so that they would have to lower their per diem rates?

The FTA Circular 4220.1F, Chapter IV paragraph 2.b. (4) requires grantees to use FAR Part 31.2 as the basis for determining allowable costs on any third party contract funded by FTA that allows for the billing of costs incurred by the contractor.

In order to implement this Circular requirement, grantees must include an “Allowable Costs” clause in their third party contracts that defines what costs will be considered allowable for billing purposes under the contract. The contract clause must reference the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Part 31.2, as the basis for defining allowable costs if the contract is with a for-profit entity. FAR Part 31.2, Section 31.205-46, Travel Costs, defines the basis for reimbursing travel costs, including allowable per diem rates as fixed in the Federal Travel Regulations. The clause does allow for exceptions based on unusual situations, which are defined. (Posted: January, 2015)