Expense report compliance as a government contractor
The expense report should include:
- The purpose of the trip, why it was necessary, and how it benefited the Government
- Who attended the trip or received the benefits of the expenses. Include the traveler’s title or relationship to the contractor
- When and where the expenses were incurred
- Copies of receipts for incurred expenses
- Name and signature of the reviewer and the employee filing the expense report
Use location-specific per diem rates that comply with the allowable rates prescribed:
- For travel within the continental United States (CONUS):
- For non-foreign travel outside of the continental United States (OCONUS):
- For foreign travel outside of the continental United States:
If your selected hotel is unable or unwilling to offer rates that comply with the allowable rates discussed above, you should initially try to find a hotel that offers a Federally-compliant per diem lodging rate. If necessary, you may request a letter from your Government customer validating your status as a Government contractor and requesting that the hotel offer you lodging at the allowable per diem rate.
Alternatively, your prime contract may require that you first obtain approval from the contracting officer. If this is not specifically addressed in your prime contract, discuss the issue with your contracting officer at contract start-up. Recognize that FAR 31.205-46(3)(iii), Travel Costs, requires advance contracting officer approval of ongoing travel costs that exceed allowable per diem limits.
If you don’t have prior Government approval or documentation explaining why the per diem amount was unavailable, contractors may allow their employees to incur lodging costs that exceed allowable per diem limits. The amount that is over the maximum rate should be classified as an unallowable cost and treated accordingly. Otherwise, the contractor may incur penalties as per diems exceeding the limit would be viewed as expressly unallowable costs. Note that prescribed allowable lodging rates for CONUS locations do not include the taxes associated with the hotel stay.
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