Approval to Exceed GSA Lodging for DPS 2018
This letter from SARA is to issue a waiver for grantees attending Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) 50th Annual Meeting allowing them to be reimbursed out of their grants for their actual lodging (within limits, see below), although it's expected to be above the approved GSA amount. 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.
Hotel information for this meeting may be found at https://aas.org/meetings/dps50. The DPS web page names a couple hotels, including Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House and the Knoxville Hilton. The GSA allowed daily lodging expenses for Knoxville for October 2018 has not yet been published but it's been $98 per night for the past year so it's a pretty safe bet that it will be $98 per night for October 2018. Only the La Quinta Inn & Suites Knoxville Airport at $99 per night came close. All of the other hotels are significantly higher, especially those mentioned by name on the DPS meeting web page, e.g., Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House is ~$140/night and the Knoxville Hilton is $265/night.
Thus, most grantee travelers to DPS will need a waiver to cover lodging in excess of the GSA value, 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 grantees attending Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) 50th Annual Meeting SMD grants may be charged up to $265/night plus tax, consistent with the actual cost of the Knoxville Hilton, even though this exceeds the $98 allotted for lodging by GSA for Knoxville.
- Max Bernstein, SMD lead for research