How does a contractor distinguish between PCS (or PCA) versus TDY for purposes of per diem versus allowances?
For civilian employees and others traveling at DoD expense, the Joint Travel Regulations (JTR), Volume 2 outlines all policies and procedures related to travel allowances. However, Chapter 1, page C1A-1 of the JTR states that it is not applicable to, “A contractor’s representative and/or contractor’s employee under a contract with DoD”. As such, utilizing the policies and procedures set forth in the JTR will not help you. Furthermore, the Defense Travel Management Office (DTMO) website (http://www.defensetravel.dod.mil/site/faqctr.cfm) states that if a contract contains limits on allowable travel costs, allowable cost rules for contractor's travel and transportation allowances are done in accordance with Part 31 of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR). That said, FAR Part 31 relies in large part on each contractor's own travel rules. In addition, some contracts include a clause that specifically addresses travel costs for that particular contract. As such, as a contractor, you need to speak with your Contracting Officer or Contracting Officer Representative (COR) to ascertain what rules apply when determining when it is appropriate to bill per diem versus no allowance for meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) on your particular contract.
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