DOD JOINT TRAVEL REGULATIONS: Actions Are Needed to Clarify Flat Rate Per Diem Policy
[Technical Report, Congressional Report]
United States Government Accountability Office
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In response to government-wide direction for agencies to reduce travel costs, in November 2014 DOD changed its JTR by instituting a flat rate per diem policy on long-term TDY travel. This policy reduced the locality rate payable for each full day at the location, depending on the duration of the TDY for TDYs of between 31 and 180 days the flat rate per diem is 75 percent, and for TDYs of greater than 180 days it is 55 percent. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2016 included a provision that GAO assess the impact of DODs policy change to the JTR on shipyard and depot workers. This report assesses the extent to which 1 depot officials identified benefits and challenges resulting from the policy change, and any effects on civilian employees and operations 2 DOD established clear guidance regarding the policy and 3 DOD followed its processes when considering the policy change and included an assessment of benefits and costs. GAO collected and analyzed responses to a questionnaire disseminated at DODs 17 depot maintenance industrial sites, reviewed relevant documentation, and interviewed cognizant officials. DOD should clarify certain aspects of the flat rate per diem policy establish procedures to ensure required steps are completed before major JTR policy changes are approved and ensure that OMB benefit-cost analysis guidelines are followed in future policy assessments. DOD concurred with all four recommendations and highlighted actions it was taking to address each recommendation.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Administration and Management