[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 205 (Tuesday, October 23, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 64791-64792]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-25893]


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GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

41 CFR Parts 301-11, 301-74, Appendix E to Chapter 301, 304-3, and 
304-5

[FTR Case 2012-301; Docket 2012-0011, Sequence 1]
RIN 3090-AJ27


Federal Travel Regulation; Removal of Conference Lodging 
Allowance Provisions

AGENCY: Office of Governmentwide Policy, General Services 
Administration (GSA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: GSA is proposing to amend the Federal Travel Regulation (FTR) 
by removing the conference lodging allowance reimbursement option for 
employees on temporary duty (TDY) travel.

DATES: Interested parties should submit written comments to the 
Regulatory Secretariat at one of the addresses shown below on or before 
December 24, 2012 to be considered in the formation of the final rule.

ADDRESSES: Submit comments identified by FTR Case 2012-301 by any of 
the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portals: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Submit comments via the Federal eRulemaking portal by searching for 
``FTR Case 2012-301''. Select the link ``Submit a Comment'' that 
corresponds with ``FTR Case 2012-301.'' Follow the instructions 
provided at the ``Submit a Comment'' screen. Please include your name, 
company name (if any), and ``FTR Case 2012-301'' on your attached 
document.
     Fax: 202-208-1398.
     Mail: General Services Administration, Regulatory 
Secretariat (MVCB), 1275 First Street NE., 7th Floor, Attn: Hada 
Flowers, Washington, DC 20417.
    Instructions: Please submit comments only and cite FTR case 2012-
301 in all correspondence related to this case. All comments received 
will be posted without change to http://www.regulations.gov, including 
any personal information provided.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For clarification of content, contact 
Mr. Cy Greenidge, Program Analyst, Office of Governmentwide Policy, at 
202-219-2349. Please cite FTR case 2012-301. The Regulatory Secretariat 
(MVCB), 1275 First Street NE., 7th Floor, Attn: Hada Flowers, 
Washington, DC 20417, 202-501-4755, for information pertaining to 
status or publication schedules.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

A. Background

    The conference lodging allowance allows travelers to exceed the 
maximum lodging per diem rate by up to 25 percent when attending 
conferences sponsored by a Federal agency. Unlike the actual expense 
provision which mandates that an agency official must approve these 
requests, there is no such mandate for allowing the use of the 
conference lodging allowance. To allow agencies to get a firmer grasp 
on how their travel dollars are used, GSA is proposing to remove the 
conference lodging allowance provision from the FTR.

B. Executive Order 12866 and Executive Order 13563

    Executive Orders (E.O.s) 12866 and 13563 direct agencies to assess 
all costs and benefits of available regulatory alternatives, and if 
regulation is necessary, to select regulatory approaches that maximize 
net benefits (including potential economic, environmental, public 
health and safety effects, distributive impacts, and equity). E.O. 
13563 emphasizes the importance of quantifying both costs and benefits, 
of reducing costs, of harmonizing rules, and of promoting flexibility. 
This is not a significant regulatory action and, therefore, was not 
subject to review under Section 6(b) of Executive Order 12866, 
Regulatory Planning and Review, dated September 30, 1993. This proposed 
rule is not a major rule under 5 U.S.C. 804.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    This proposed rule will not have a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities within the meaning of the 
Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. 601, et seq., because the 
revisions are not considered substantive. This proposed rule is also 
exempt from the Administrative Procedure Act per 5 U.S.C. 553(a)(2) 
because it applies to agency management or personnel. However, this 
proposed rule is being published to provide transparency in the 
promulgation of Federal policies.

D. Paperwork Reduction Act

    The Paperwork Reduction Act does not apply because the changes to 
the FTR do not impose recordkeeping or information collection 
requirements, or the collection of information from offerors, 
contractors, or members of the public that require the approval of the 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under 44 U.S.C. 3501, et seq.

E. Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act

    This proposed rule is also exempt from Congressional review 
prescribed under 5 U.S.C. 801 since it relates solely to agency 
management and personnel.

List of Subjects in 41 CFR Parts 301-11, 301-74, Appendix E to 
Chapter 301, 304-3, and 304-5

    Administrative practices and procedures, Government employees, 
Travel and per diem expenses, Acceptance of travel and related expenses 
from non-Federal sources.

    Dated: June 22, 2012.
Dan Tangherlini,
Acting Administrator of General Services.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 
5701-5709 and 31 U.S.C. 1353, GSA proposes to amend 41 CFR parts 301-
11, 301-74, Appendix E to Chapter 301, 304-3, and 304-5 as set forth 
below:

PART 301-11--PER DIEM EXPENSES

    1. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-11 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707.


Sec.  301-11.5  [Amended]

    2. Amend Sec.  301-11.5 by--
    a. Adding the word ``or'' at the end of paragraph (b);
    b. Removing paragraph (c); and
    c. Redesignating paragraph (d) as paragraph (c).

PART 301-74--CONFERENCE PLANNING

    3. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 301-74 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707.

    4. Revise Sec.  301-74.6 to read as follows:

[[Page 64792]]

Sec.  301-74.6  What can we do if we cannot find an appropriate 
conference facility at the chosen locality per diem rate?

    While it is always desirable to obtain lodging facilities within 
the established lodging portion of the per diem rate for the chosen 
locality, it may not always be possible. In those instances when 
lodging is not available at the applicable per diem rate, travelers 
should construct a cost comparison of all associated costs, including 
round-trip ground transportation, between finding lodging at the 
applicable per diem rate away from the conference locality and using 
the actual expense method at the conference locality as prescribed in 
Subpart D of Part 301-11 of this chapter.


Sec. Sec.  301-74.7 through 301-74.10, 301-74.12, 301.74-22, and 301-
74.23  [Removed]

    5. Remove Sec. Sec.  301-74.7 through 301-74.10, 301-74.12, 301.74-
22, and 301-74.23.


Sec. Sec.  301-74.11, 301-74.13 through 301-74.19, and 301-74.24 
through 301-74.26  [Redesignated as Sec. Sec.  301-74.7, 301-74.8 
through 301-74.14, and 301-74.22 through 301-74.24]

    6. Redesignate Sec. Sec.  301-74.11, 301-74.13 through 301-74.19, 
and 301-74.24 through 301-74.26 as Sec. Sec.  301-74.7, 301-74.8 
through 301-74.14, and 301-74.22 through 301-74.24, respectively. A 
redesignation table is set forth below for the convenience of the 
reader:

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                            Redesignated
                     Old section No.                        section No.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
301-74.11................................................      301-74.7
301-74.13................................................      301-74.8
301-74.14................................................      301-74.9
301-74.15................................................      301-74.10
301-74.16................................................      301-74.11
301-74.17................................................      301-74.12
301-74.18................................................      301-74.13
301-74.19................................................      301-74.14
301-74.24................................................      301-74.22
301-74.25................................................      301-74.23
301-74.26................................................      301-74.24
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sec.  301-74.9  [Amended]

    7. Amend the newly redesignated Sec.  301-74.9 in the first 
sentence by removing ``Sec.  301-74.15'' and adding ``Sec.  301-74.10'' 
in its place.


Sec.  301-74.10  [Amended]

    8. Amend the heading to the newly redesignated Sec.  301-74.10 by 
removing ``Sec.  301-74.14'' and adding ``Sec.  301-74.9'' in its 
place.
    9. Revise the newly designated Sec.  301-74.11 to read as follows:


Sec.  301-74.11  What must be included in any advertisement or 
application form relating to conference attendance?

    Any advertisement or application for attendance at a conference 
described in 301-74.9 must include notice of the prohibition against 
using a non-FEMA approved place of public accommodation for 
conferences. In addition, any executive agency, as defined in 5 U.S.C. 
105, shall notify all non-Federal entities to which it provides Federal 
funds of this prohibition.


Sec.  301-74.12  [Amended]

    10. Amend the newly redesignated Sec.  301-74.12 by removing from 
the Note ``Sec.  301-74.17(a)'' and adding ``Sec.  301-74.12(a)'' in 
its place.
    11. Revise the newly designated Sec.  301-74.22 to read as follows:


Sec.  301-74.22  When should actual expense reimbursement be authorized 
for conference attendees?

    You may authorize actual expenses under Sec.  301-11.300 of this 
chapter when the applicable lodging rate is inadequate.

Appendix E to Chapter 301 [Amended]

    12. Amend Appendix E to Chapter 301 by--
    a. Under the heading ``Terms'' by removing the paragraph 
``Conference lodging allowance: The rate that is up to 25 percent above 
the established lodging per diem rate.''; and
    b. Under the heading ``Notification,'' subheading ``Announcement 
and/or Invitations,'' by removing the paragraph ``Notice that 
conference lodging allowance applies if applicable.''

PART 304-3--EMPLOYEE RESPONSIBILITY

    13. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 304-3 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.


Sec.  304-3.11  [Amended]

    14. Amend Sec.  304-3.11--
    a. In the heading by removing ``(per diem, actual expense, or 
conference lodging)'' and adding ``(per diem or actual expense)'' in 
its place; and
    b. In the introductory paragraph by removing ``(per diem, actual 
expense, or conference lodging)'' and adding ``(per diem or actual 
expense)'' in its place.

PART 304-5--AGENCY RESPONSIBILITIES

    15. The authority citation for 41 CFR part 304-5 continues to read 
as follows:

    Authority: 5 U.S.C. 5707; 31 U.S.C. 1353.


Sec.  304-5.4  [Amended]

    16. Amend Sec.  304-5.4--
    a. In the heading by removing ``(per diem, actual expense, or 
conference lodging)'' and adding ``(per diem or actual expense)'' in 
its place; and
    b. In paragraph (a), in the introductory paragraph by removing 
``(per diem, actual expense, or conference lodging)'' and adding ``(per 
diem or actual expense)'' in its place.

[FR Doc. 2012-25893 Filed 10-22-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6820-14-P