Panoptic Enterprises' FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH
DATE: March 17, 2003
SUBJECT: Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) Amendment 2003-02; Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source
SOURCE: Federal Register, March 17, 2003, Vol. 68, No. 51, page 12602
AGENCIES: General Services Administration (GSA)
ACTION: Final Rule
SYNOPSIS: GSA is rewriting FTR Chapter 304, Payment of Travel Expenses From a Non-Federal Source, in "plain language," and also revising Chapter 304 to permit after-the-fact agency acceptance of payment from a non-federal source for travel expenses to a meeting under two circumstances.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The FTR is Chapters 300 through 304 of Title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The FTR is available on the Internet at http://www.policyworks.gov/org/main/mt/homepage/mtt/FTR/ftrhpfore.html#BMtablecont.
For more on the proposed rule, see the May 4, 2001, FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH "Federal Travel Regulation (FTR); Payment of Travel Expenses from a Non-Federal Source."
EFFECTIVE DATE: This final rule is effective June 16, 2003, and it applies to payment of expenses from a non-federal source on or after June 16, 2003.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Umeki Thorne, Program Analyst, 202-208-7636.
SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: On May 4, 2001, GSA proposed to rewrite 41 CFR Part 304 in the "plain language" style of regulation writing as a continuation of its effort to make the FTR easier to understand and use.
In addition to the rewriting, GSA proposed to amend the part to make two changes:
- To permit after-the-fact agency acceptance of payment from a non-federal source for travel expenses to a meeting under the following two circumstances prescribed in FTR 304-3.13, After I begin travel to a meeting, what should I do if a non-Federal source offers to pay for one or more of my travel expenses without my or my agency's prior knowledge?:
- When the agency has not approved acceptance of any payments from that non-federal source prior to the trip, the employee may accept, on behalf of the agency, payment from the non-federal source for (i) the types of travel expenses authorized by the travel authorization (that is, meals, lodging, transportation, but not recreation or other personal expenses); and (ii) travel expenses that are within the maximum allowances stated on the employee's travel authorization (that is, if the employee's travel authorization states that he or she is authorized to incur lodging expenses up to $100 per night, he or she may not accept payment from the non-federal source for a $200 per night hotel room). The employee must request the agency's authorization for acceptance from the non-federal source within seven working days after the trip ends.
- When the agency has approved acceptance of payment for some but not all travel expenses from a non-federal source prior to the trip, the employee may accept, on behalf of the agency, payment for additional travel, subsistence, and related expenses from the same non-federal source, as long as the two following conditions are met: (i) the expenses paid by the non-federal source must be comparable in value to those offered or purchased by other similarly situated attendees; and (ii) the agency has not specifically declined to accept certain payments from a non-federal source for the employee's trip. If these conditions are not met, the employee is subject to the penalties specified in FTR 304-3.18, What happens if I accept a payment from a non-federal source that is in violation of this part? -- the employee may be required to pay the U.S. Treasury the amount of the payment accepted without being eligible for reimbursement from the agency.
- The requirement that a meeting or similar function be sponsored or co-sponsored by a federal agency in order to fall within the scope of this part would be removed (old FTR 304-1.2, General).
GSA received comments from eight federal agencies. While GSA made some editorial changes for clarity, the final rule does not differ significantly from the May 4, 2001, proposed rule. The two major changes that were proposed to FTR Part 304 are included in the final rule.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Panoptic Enterprises at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to Panoptic@FedGovContracts.com.
Copyright 2003 by Panoptic Enterprises. All Rights Reserved.
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