U.S. Code of Federal Regulations
Regulations most recently checked for updates: Sep 22, 2023
(a) Costs for transportation, lodging, meals, and incidental expenses. (1) Costs incurred by contractor personnel on official company business are allowable, subject to the limitations contained in this subsection. Costs for transportation may be based on mileage rates, actual costs incurred, or on a combination thereof, provided the method used results in a reasonable charge. Costs for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses may be based on per diem, actual expenses, or a combination thereof, provided the method used results in a reasonable charge.
(2) Except as provided in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, costs incurred for lodging, meals, and incidental expenses (as defined in the regulations cited in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) through (iii) of this section ) shall be considered to be reasonable and allowable only to the extent that they do not exceed on a daily basis the maximum per diem rates in effect at the time of travel as set forth in the—
(i) Federal Travel Regulation, prescribed by the General Services Administration, for travel in the contiguous United States, available on a subscription basis from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, Stock No. 922–002–00000–2;
(ii) Joint Travel Regulations, Volume 2, DoD Civilian Personnel, Appendix A, prescribed by the Department of Defense, for travel in Alaska, Hawaii, and outlying areas of the United States, available on a subscription basis from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, Stock No. 908–010–00000–1; or
(iii) Standarized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas), section 925, Maximum Travel Per Diem Allowances of Foreign Areas, prescribed by the Department of State, for travel in areas not covered in paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (ii) of this section, available on a subscription basis from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Publishing Office, Washington, DC 20402, Stock No. 744–088–00000–0.
(3) In special or unusual situations, actual costs in excess of the above-referenced maximum per diem rates are allowable provided that such amounts do not exceed the higher amounts authorized for Federal civilian employees as permitted in the regulations referenced in paragraph (a)(2)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section. For such higher amounts to be allowable, all of the following conditions must be met:
(i) One of the conditions warranting approval of the actual expense method, as set forth in the regulations referred in paragraph (a)(2)(i), (ii), or (iii) of this section, must exist.
(ii) A written justification for use of the higher amounts must be approved by an officer of the contractor's organization or designee to ensure that the authority is properly administered and controlled to prevent abuse.
(iii) If it becomes necessary to exercise the authority to use the higher actual expense method repetitively or on a continuing basis in a particular area, the contractor must obtain advance approval from the contracting officer.
(iv) Documentation to support actual costs incurred shall be in accordance with the contractor's established practices, subject to paragraph (a)(7) of this section, and provided that a receipt is required for each expenditure of $75.00 or more. The approved justification required by paragraph (a)(3)(ii) of this section and, if applicable, paragraph (a)(3)(iii) of this section must be retained.
(4) Paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section and paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section do not incorporate the regulations cited in paragraphs (a)(2)(i), (ii), and (iii) of this section in their entirety. Only the maximum per diem rates, the definitions of lodging, meals, and incidental expenses, and the regulatory coverage dealing with special or unusual situations are incorporated herein.
(5) An advance agreement (see 31.109) with respect to compliance with paragraphs (a)(2) and (3) of this section may be useful and desirable.
(6) The maximum per diem rates referenced in subparagraph (a)(2) of this subsection generally would not constitute a reasonable daily charge—
(i) When no lodging costs are incurred; and/or
(ii) On partial travel days (e.g., day of departure and return).
Appropriate downward adjustments from the maximum per diem rates would normally be required under these circumstances. While these adjustments need not be calculated in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulation or Joint Travel Regulations, they must result in a reasonable charge.
(7) Costs shall be allowable only if the following information is documented:
(i) Date and place (city, town, or other similar designation) of the expenses;
(ii) Purpose of the trip; and
(iii) Name of person on trip and that person's title or relationship to the contractor.
(b) Airfare costs in excess of the lowest priced airfare available to the contractor during normal business hours are unallowable except when such accommodations require circuitous routing, require travel during unreasonable hours, excessively prolong travel, result in increased cost that would offset transportation savings, are not reasonably adequate for the physical or medical needs of the traveler, or are not reasonably available to meet mission requirements. However, in order for airfare costs in excess of the above airfare to be allowable, the applicable condition(s) set forth above must be documented and justified.
(c)(1) Cost of travel by contractor-owned, -leased, or -chartered aircraft, as used in this paragraph (c), includes the cost of lease, charter, operation (including personnel), maintenance, depreciation, insurance, and other related costs.
(2) The costs of travel by contractor-owned, -leased, or -chartered aircraft are limited to the allowable airfare described in paragraph (b) of this section for the flight destination unless travel by such aircraft is specifically required by contract specification, term, or condition, or a higher amount is approved by the contracting officer. A higher amount may be agreed to when one or more of the circumstances for justifying higher than allowable airfare listed in paragraph (b) of this section are applicable, or when an advance agreement under paragraph (c)(3) of this section has been executed. In all cases, travel by contractor-owned, -leased, or -chartered aircraft must be fully documented and justified. For each contractor-owned, -leased, or -chartered aircraft used for any business purpose which is charged or allocated, directly or indirectly, to a Government contract, the contractor must maintain and make available manifest/logs for all flights on such company aircraft. As a minimum, the manifest/log shall indicate—
(i) Date, time, and points of departure;
(ii) Destination, date, and time of arrival;
(iii) Name of each passenger and relationship to the contractor;
(iv) Authorization for trip; and
(v) Purpose of trip.
(3) Where an advance agreement is proposed (see 31.109), consideration may be given to the following:
(i) Whether scheduled commercial airlines or other suitable, less costly, travel facilities are available at reasonable times, with reasonable frequency, and serve the required destinations conveniently.
(ii) Whether increased flexibility in scheduling results in time savings and more effective use of personnel that would outweigh additional travel costs.
(d) Costs of contractor-owned or leased automobiles, as used in this paragraph, include the costs of lease, operation (including personnel), maintenance, depreciation, insurance, etc. These costs are allowable, if reasonable, to the extent that the automobiles are used for company business. That portion of the cost of company-furnished automobiles that relates to personal use by employees (including transportation to and from work) is compensation for personal services and is unallowable as stated in 31.205–6(m)(2).