Effective Date: May 09, 2018
Expiration Date: May 09, 2023
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3.1.1 Prior to committing to a lodging agreement for the ETDY assignment, the employee should have an approved ETDY authorization. A copy of any proposed lodging agreement should be sent to the NSSC for review and counseling. Employees who sign agreements prior to NSSC’s review and prior to authorization may be at risk of not being reimbursed for costs incurred in excess of the approved authorization.
3.1.2 NASA’s standard reduced per diem rate for ETDY travel is 65 percent.
a. Consistent with 41 CFR 301-11.200, an ETDY authorization can include reasonable further reductions from this standard rate or limitations on approved lodging for unique circumstances, to the extent it can be determined in advance that such will substantially lower costs without mission impact. For example, if lodging is obtained at 50 percent per diem, the ETDY authorization should be adjusted to authorize a lower rate.
b. The reduced rate of reimbursement begins on the first day of travel regardless of the mode of transportation, except as noted in 3.1.3 below. Allowances are covered by the reduced per diem rate; therefore, NASA will authorize the employee a per diem rate (up to 65 percent) to reasonably cover expenses for a one bedroom furnished apartment. For ETDY greater than 90 days, first consideration should be given to long-term lodging facilities. Long-term lodging facilities are available on the GSA schedule at http://www.gsa.gov. If a long-term facility is not selected, proper justification should be provided.
Note: Where this policy refers to ETDY per diem as up to 65 percent, this does not mean amounts less than authorized per diem can be paid. A traveler is entitled to the amount authorized, and the standard rate is 65 percent. However, this does reflect that in some cases it is appropriate to authorize a lesser per diem allowance consistent with this policy and the FTR. Also, there is no authority to pay per diem or additional expenses for family members (with exception of employees also on ETDY). An employee who decides to take family members along on the ETDY assignment should be prepared to pay for all their related expenses. If an employee chooses to upgrade their lodging to more than a one bedroom; the cost of the upgrade will not be reimbursed; the employee will only be reimbursed up to the amount of the one bedroom. For example: Employee is authorized ETDY travel. The employee has found a property that has one and two bedroom units. Even though cost of both the one-bedroom unit and two-bedroom unit fall under the authorized per diem rate (65 percent) NASA will only authorize and reimburse the employee based on the one-bedroom unit pricing. If the employee leases an unfurnished lodging facility, the cost to rent furniture cannot exceed the 65 percent and furniture items can only be rented to furnish the one bedroom.
3.1.3 Employees performing ETDY assignments will be authorized per diem allowances for travel when starting or ending ETDY travel as follows:
a. Lodging Required. For each full calendar day, the employee is in a travel status but not at the ETDY location or PDS, 100 percent per diem may be authorized for lodging other than the ETDY leased premises; M&IE per diem is authorized consistent with the FTR and TDY travel (e.g., reduced for the first and last day of travel status).
b. Lodging Not Required. For each full calendar day that the employee is in a travel status and lodging is not required, the authorization should limit per diem to amounts that can be determined in advance as reasonably needed (including no reimbursement).
c. Day of Arrival at the ETDY Station. For the day of arrival at the ETDY station, the per diem allowance should be the authorized reduced per diem rate.
3.1.4 Per diem allowances for employees authorized to travel between the ETDY location and TDY Destinations (e.g., embedded travel) are computed as follows:
a. Commencing TDY Travel.
(1) When lodging is required at the TDY location on the day travel begins (day of departure from ETDY location), the per diem allowable will be the actual cost of lodging incurred by the employee, limited to the applicable maximum lodging allowance prescribed for the location of the assignment plus three-fourths of the destination M&IE rate. In addition, the employee will be reimbursed for the authorized (up to 65 percent) reduced lodging rate at the ETDY location.
(2) When lodging is not required on the date travel begins, such as when staying with relatives or in Government-provided no-cost quarters, the per diem allowable will be three-fourths of the destination M&IE rate. In addition, the employee will be reimbursed for the reduced lodging rate at the ETDY location.
(3) Lodging not required due to embedded travel of 12 hours or less. If the employee is NOT in a TDY travel status for more than 12 hours, the employee is reimbursed the daily reduced per diem rate as usual.
b. Travel at a TDY Location (Other than the ETDY Location).
(1) When the employee is in travel status and lodging is required, the per diem allowable will be the actual cost of lodging incurred by the employee, limited to the applicable maximum lodging allowance prescribed for the location of the assignment plus the location’s applicable M&IE rate. In addition, the employee will be reimbursed for the authorized lodging rate at the ETDY location.
(2) When the employee is in a travel status and lodging costs are not incurred, the per diem allowance will be the destination M&IE rate. In addition, the employee will be reimbursed for the authorized lodging rate at the ETDY location.
c. Ending Embedded TDY Travel. For the day the TDY travel ends (day employee returns to the ETDY location), the per diem allowable will be three-fourths of the M&IE rate applicable to the preceding calendar day. There should be no lodging costs incurred at the TDY location. In addition, the employee will be reimbursed for the authorized lodging rate at the ETDY location.
3.2.1 Prior to authorization of en route transportation allowances, a determination should be made by the authorizing official to ascertain what local transportation is available at the particular ETDY location.
3.2.2 Transportation allowances for en route travel to, from, and at the ETDY station are:
a. Transportation allowances authorized for ETDY will be authorized in accordance with 41 CFR § 301-10.
b. The authorized mode of transportation for travel between the PDS and the ETDY station is the common carrier.
3.2.3 An employee who has been authorized use of a POV on a personal preference at the ETDY location may be similarly reimbursed for POV use on additionally authorized TDY travel (i.e., for embedded trips), further to the provisions of NPR 9710 sec. 5.6.3. Employee shall ensure that his/her authorization is supported by a cost comparison, indicating that the approval of such expense is documented to reflect the amount the employee can be reimbursed (up to the official ticket cost of a common carrier plus the cost of up to two checked bags).
3.2.4 An employee who has been authorized use of a POV on a personal preference cannot be authorized use of a rental car at the ETDY location if the employee is seeking reimbursement of mileage for the POV. This applies to both the ETDY site and when the employee returns to the PDS on official business. An employee should never be authorized a rental car at the ETDY site because the family accompanied the employee and needs use of the POV. In these circumstances, the employee should obtain a rental car at his or her expense for family use. An example of when it would be advantageous to the Government to authorize an employee a rental car at the PDS would be when the employee returned to the PDS on official business by common carrier leaving the POV at the ETDY site and would have no other means of traveling locally at the PDS than by taxi (which is shown to be more expensive than the daily cost of a rental car).
3.2.5 NASA may authorize use of a rental car while the employee is at the ETDY location. Use of a rental car will not be authorized at Headquarters, unless the employee has an approved authorization from the OIC and/or Center Director prior to his or her travel.
Note: Employees are generally responsible for rental car expenses incurred that are not preapproved.
3.3.1 Employees authorized ETDY travel may return home at NASA’s expense. NASA generally permits one trip home per month, but a traveler may be authorized up to four trips per quarter.
3.3.2 For these authorized trips home, the employee shall book their travel through the automated travel system and use the Government contract city-pair fares and travel during work hours without taking any form of leave. Employees who choose to take a mode of transportation other than common carrier can only be reimbursed up to the cost of the official ticket plus the cost of two checked bags.
3.3.3 The employee may return home voluntarily more often at his or her own expense (consistent with any required supervisory approval of work or leave); however, he or she may NOT use the Government Contract City-pair fares for these trips and may NOT use his or her Government charge card to pay for the expenses. In these circumstances, the employee will generally also be travelling on his or her own time or authorized leave, and NASA will not reimburse shipment costs or the like.
3.3.4 A reasonable allowance for a reasonable cost of shipping unaccompanied baggage of personal effects (up to 350 pounds) is permitted, but personal effects does not include furniture and other household.
NASA will reimburse as a miscellaneous expense all items listed in 41 CFR §301-12.1 or any fees absolutely necessary for the completion of travel when they have been authorized and/or approved by the Agency. Additional expenses for navigation (GPS) devices or the like are not reimbursed when travel is being performed within the United States absent specific authorization accompanied by detailed justification of the business need and lack of reasonable alternative; no special justification is required for approval as deemed appropriate in connection with foreign travel.
Note: Dry cleaning and laundry are not an authorized expense at the ETDY location. Employee shall ensure that parking is approved prior to an ETDY assignment, as parking may be charged and may not be a reimbursable expense at some TDY locations.
Per NPR 9730.1, NASA employees who are authorized official travel shall use their Government-issued travel card for all official travel expenses as the method of payment, unless exempted in accordance with 41 CFR § 301-70.704.
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