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Approval to Exceed GSA Lodging for LPSC 2018

This letter from SARA is to issue a waiver for grantees attending LPSC 2018 allowing them to be reimbursed out of their grants for their actual lodging, 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.

The host hotel for the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference March 19-23, 2018 is the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Hotel information for this meeting maybe found at https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2018/hotel-information/.

The GSA allowed daily lodging expense for March 2018 for zip code 77380 (that for the Woodlands Waterway Marriott Hotel & Convention Center) is $137 per night ($2 more than last year!). Many of the hotels are significantly higher than the GSA allowed $137, e.g., the official conference hotel (mentioned above) is $235/night plus tax.

Grantee travelers may 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 the 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference NASA SMD grants may be charged up to $235/night plus tax, consistent with the average actual cost of the conference hotel, even though this exceeds the $137 allotted for lodging by GSA for Woodlands for March 2018.

- Max Bernstein, SMD lead for research