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Division Director

Christina Smith

Assistant Director

Rick Sweet


Accounting and Auditing
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0318

(850) 413-5510
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October 16, 2002

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 05 (2002-03)

SUBJECT: REIMBURSEMENT FOR FOREIGN TRAVEL EXPENSES

This Comptroller's Memorandum (CM) replaces CM No. 07 (1991-92).

Section 112.061(3)(e), Florida Statutes, states, “The agency head, or a designated representative, may pay by advancement or reimbursement, or a combination thereof, the costs of per diem of travelers and authorized persons for foreign travel at the current rates as specified in the federal publication “Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians, Foreign Areas)” and incidental expenses as provided in this section.” State employees who perform travel in foreign areas may choose to claim the standard State allowances found in Section 112.061(6)(a), Florida Statutes, in lieu of the federal rates. The State of Florida per diem rate may not be combined with the federal reimbursement rates for the same travel day.

Travelers to foreign areas electing to use the federal rates should use the rates specified in the U.S. Department of State, Office of Allowances' federal publication, “Per Diem Allowances for Travel in Foreign Areas” and must comply with the “Federal Travel Regulation”. The federal rates and regulation may be found at: http://www.state.gov/m/a/als/prdm. Rates for foreign travel shall not begin until the date and time of arrival in the foreign country and shall terminate on the date and time of departure from the foreign country.

If travelers elect federal rates, reimbursement allowances for lodging and meals will be as listed in the monthly publication, “Maximum Travel Per Diem Allowances for Foreign Areas”. This publication can be accessed at the website listed above by clicking the appropriate year under Foreign Per Diem Rates. The amounts listed in the column labeled, “Maximum Lodging Amount”, are the maximum amounts that may be claimed for lodging. Receipts are required for reimbursement of lodging costs. If the actual lodging expense of the traveler is less than the maximum amount listed, the lesser amount will be reimbursed. Meal allowance amounts are found in the column labeled “M & IE Rate” (i.e. Meals and Incidental Expense Rate). Receipts are not required for meal expense reimbursement.

Even though travelers may elect federal rates for lodging and meals, incidental expenses must be claimed and reimbursed in accordance with Section 112.061(8), Florida Statutes, and Rule 3A-42.010, Florida Administrative Code. Therefore, the allowance for incidental expenses must be deducted from the total amount shown in the “M & IE Rate” column, since incidental expenses are reimbursed according to state guidelines. The meals and incidental expenses breakdown is located in Appendix B, Chapter 301-Federal Travel Regulation, which may be found at the above referenced website. The following example illustrates this requirement:

Example: Rome, Italy

Maximum Lodging Amount (lodging receipts required): $194
Meals and Incidental Expense (M & IE): $102

M & IE Rate Breakdown:

  • Breakfast: $15
  • Lunch $ 26
  • Dinner $ 41
  • Incidentals $ 20

    Total $102

    The total daily allowance for meals would be: $102 less $20 for incidentals = $82.

    When a traveler goes from one foreign location to another, reimbursement for meals and lodging shall be based on the allowance listed for the referenced location during the meal or lodging period. For example: A traveler on state business in Rome, Italy departs at 3:00 P.M. for business with an overnight stay in Paris, France. The Rome allowance for breakfast and lunch is used and the dinner allowance and actual lodging costs, up to the maximum lodging amount, for Paris is used.

    If you have any questions regarding this memorandum, please contact Sharon Schrader by phone at (850) 410-9323, SUNCOM 210-9323 or by email at sschrade@mail.dbf.state.fl.us.