Approval to Exceed Per Diem Lodging for DPS 49 in Provo Utah
This letter from SARA is to issue a waiver for grantees allowing them to be reimbursed out of their grants for their actual lodging, although it's expected to be above per diem. Note, I have specified grants (including cooperative agreements). This may also apply to those traveling on NASA contracts, but they should communicate with their contracting officers.
DPS in Provo, Utah is coming up in the fall. The conference hotel is listed at $147/night + tax (for those without Government ID – they cannot secure the Government rate). See https://aas.org/meetings/dps49/travel-and-lodging.
As occurred last year, the GSA allowed per diem will almost certainly not be adequate for DPS in 2017. According to http://www.gsa.gov/portal/category/100120 the FY 2017 Per Diem Rates for Provo is $95 per night. This meeting occurs just on the far side of the fiscal year, but GSA allowed per diem will probably still be $95 per night in October 2017 when the meeting happens.
To the extent the conference hotel fills up shortly, grantee travelers may need a waiver to secure lodging at other area hotels (up to the conference hotel rate), depending on the travel policy of your organization. This waiver does not supersede the travel policy of your institution if it is more restrictive.
By the power invested in me by the NSSC to issue approval of the actual lodging costs for a conference in "bulk" instead of individual approvals, I hereby affirm that for the 49th DPS, October 2017, in Provo Utah, NASA SMD grants may be charged up to $147 plus tax per night, consistent with the actual costs of the conference hotel, even though this exceeds the normal per diem.
- Max Bernstein, SMD lead for research