How to Handle Travel Costs Under a GSA Task Order
Now that you’re a GSA contract holder you may have noticed that there’s quite a bit of red tape to work around. Certain performance orders issued under your GSA contract may require you to travel out of area. If this is the case for your organization, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to travel expenses and per diem charges.
Travel and Per Diem
Travel and per diem charges will be handled on the task order basis, as open market items (OMs) or other direct costs (ODC). You can read more about this under clause C-FSS-370 Contractor Tasks/Special Requirements. To put it simply, this means these costs should not be included on your master GSA awarded pricelist, as they are to be separately negotiated on the task order level. It’s important to note that the Industrial Funding Fee (IFF) does not apply to travel and per diem charges and should not be charged or reported.
Contract Costs and Procedures
FAR Part 31 covers information you need to know about the cost and procedures outlined in a GSA contract. The document states that, “Travel in performance of a task order will only be reimbursable to the extent authorized by the ordering agency.” Additionally, it outlines certain rules to follow when it comes to travel costs:
- Some transportation costs are covered and can be based on mileage rates, the final amount spent, or a combination of both as long as the total cost is reasonable.
- As long as the final bill amounts to a reasonable charge, the cost of accommodations, meals, and incidental expenses may be covered.
Cancellations or Rescheduling
As a best practice, we recommend you use the reasonable rates for travel expenses under a GSA order to avoid any complications. Also, make sure to reference your travel and rescheduling/cancellation policy wherever travel is discussed in a proposal or quote.
Tips to Keep in Mind
Many hotels offer special government rates and we recommend that you take advantage of this benefit. Typically, these rates are only offered to government employees, however if a consultant is going to perform work under a government contract, he or she may qualify for those discounted rates.
About Carina Linder
Carina Linder is an Engagement Manager with more than five years of experience in GSA contract proposal writing and contract negotiations. Her expertise is in contract compliance consulting, Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and procurement procedures.