Effective Date: May 09, 2018
Expiration Date: May 09, 2023
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2.1.1 Further to 41 CFR 301-11.200, NASA authorizes a reduced per diem for all travel that is 31 or more calendar days (ETDY), except as otherwise excluded in section 2.1.2 below. Each ETDY authorization should be limited to one year, but may be approved as required by mission with due consideration for the increased costs and alternatives. Assignments for more than one year will be reevaluated annually to determine if it is still in the best interest of NASA. A new cost comparison will be completed and attached to the authorization. Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments should not exceed two years.
Note: The cost comparison will be considered originally using the entire length of the assignment or if extended, reevaluated using the extension period of the assignment. Assignment extensions should be justified and an explanation of why the timeframe was not known originally should be included.
2.1.2 Exclusions. Although ETDY is generally defined as all travel that is 31 or more calendar days, the following categories of travel are excluded from the ETDY category and its requirement for reduced per diem. These are excluded based on prior determinations (including recurring approved waivers) showing lower lodging and/or meal costs are not reasonably available as required by the FTR.
a. Outside of the Continental United States (OCONUS) Deployments. NASA Science and Aeronautics Missions conduct a variety of OCONUS deployments each year, with typical campaigns lasting up to several months. These extended high-tempo operations, often in multiple or remote locations, have repeatedly demonstrated lack of available reasonable alternatives for reduced per diem at deployment locations. Accordingly, OCONUS deployments of up to two months duration are excluded from the ETDY category. NSSC shall maintain a list of these deployments, updated with concurrence of OCFO at least annually.
b. Russian Assignments. Reviews have repeatedly demonstrated the lack of reasonable alternatives for reduced per diem at locations in Russia (particularly Star City). Accordingly, all travel to Russia, including long-duration travel, is excluded from the ETDY category.
c. Unexpected Extensions. If TDY travel has commenced and is unexpectedly extended due to operational needs beyond 29 days, or 60 days in the case of OCONUS deployments, an extension of up to an additional 30 days is excluded from the ETDY category, and the authorized rate of TDY per diem or actual expenses may be similarly approved for the extension period.
Employees shall complete counseling through the NSSC prior to each ETDY assignment. If counseling is not completed prior to the assignment, the ETDY assignment will not be approved and/or authorized. During counseling, employees are advised to discuss lodging alternatives, and in no event will they secure a lease prior to ETDY authorization.
2.3.1 Prior to authorization of an ETDY assignment, the following will be done:
a. The authorizing official shall determine whether the assignment is in the best interest of the Government.
b. The Official in Charge (OIC) or Center Director shall approve all ETDY assignments consistent with NPD 9710 (for example, currently required for assignments longer than 90 days).
c. For assignments of more than 180 days, NASA requires an analysis of allowances be submitted with the assignment as an ETDY, Temporary Change of Station (TCS), or Permanent Change of Station (PCS) for review by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or his/her designee at the approving official’s Center. The NSSC shall develop a cost comparison for use in determining whether the assignment should be authorized as an ETDY or TCS/PCS assignment. The cost comparison should be attached to the travel authorization to be used to certify fund availability and process travel voucher claims. If the employee does not select the most advantageous cost, then additional approval by an OIC or Center Director will be provided prior to the assignment.
Note: If an employee is on ETDY and there are unforeseen circumstances that require him or her to do a PCS, he/she shall contact the TCS/PCS point of contact to determine his/her entitlement and potential risks for losing his/her entitlement such as en route, house hunting, and home sale.
2.3.2 A Privately Owned Vehicle (POV) may be authorized as advantageous to the Government or as a personal preference on an ETDY assignment as follows:
a. If common carrier transportation and local transportation is available to the ETDY location, the employee may be authorized a POV allowance on a personal preference basis; however, the POV allowance will be limited to the estimated costs of the available common carrier and local transportation which would normally be used when a POV is not authorized.
b. If common carrier transportation is not available to the ETDY location, but local transportation is available, a cost comparison is required to determine if the use of a POV for en route and local travel should be authorized as advantageous to the Government.
c. If common carrier transportation is not available to the ETDY location and local transportation is not available at the ETDY location, the use of a POV for en route and local travel may be authorized as advantageous to the Government.
2.4.1 Employees shall not be authorized per diem for travel expenses at their Permanent Duty Station (PDS) during the ETDY work or training assignment. However, when official travel is performed at the PDS, the employee will continue to receive up to 65 percent of the lodging rate at the ETDY site.
2.4.2 Reduced lodging costs are those expenses other than meals authorized in the ETDY per diem rate. The following are examples of items included in the reduced lodging costs:
a. Rental cost of necessary furniture and appliances if renting an unfurnished dwelling.
b. The cost of connection use and disconnection of utilities.
c. Monthly telephone use fee for landline (does not include installation and long distance calls).
d. Basic cable TV service.
e. Internet service.
2.4.3 NASA will authorize reduced per diem when two spouses are performing an ETDY assignment during the same timeframe at the same location under the following circumstances:
a. One spouse will be authorized up to 65 percent of the maximum per diem rate established for the ETDY location.
b. The accompanying spouse will be authorized up to 65 percent of the Meals and Incidental Expenses (M&IE) only, established for the location. M&IE allowance should cover any additional lodging expenses, such as utilities, incurred by the accompanying spouse while occupying the same lodging facility.
(1) This additional M&IE allowance will not be authorized for assignment of convenience to the employee. The decision as to whether the assignment is one with no additional M&IE allowance or an assignment that includes the additional M&IE allowance will be determined on a case-by- case basis by the staffing needs of the NASA Centers and the employment qualification of the employees involved.
This policy sets forth NASA’s established per diem rate for ETDY. In those circumstances where this rate is insufficient to cover the costs for reasonably available lodging or other expenses, the employee shall submit a waiver request on the NASA Travel Waiver Request form, with sufficient detail on pertinent facts and other considerations, to NASA OCFO’s Director for Policy. The request should include or be accompanied by the authorizing official’s approval and/or comments, as well as confirmation by the NASA Shared Service Center (NSSC) of other pertinent facts or considerations (if any) with respect to the request. All waiver requests should be expeditiously processed.
Note: Applicable supporting documentation must be submitted with all waiver requests.
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