Foreign Travel Policy

Number: 5775.1 OAS CHGE 2
Status: Active
Signature Date: 08/02/2017
Expiration Date: 08/02/2024

1.  Purpose

To publish internal GSA guidance for official travel to foreign areas.                                                                                   

2.  Background

The Federal Travel Regulation (Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Title 41, Chapters 300 through 304) (FTR) is the Government-wide regulation that implements statutory requirements and Executive Branch policies for travel by Federal civilian employees and others authorized to travel at Government expense.  This directive provides internal agency policies and procedures regarding foreign travel as required by the FTR, Part 301-70. 

3.  Scope and applicability

     a.  This directive contains standards, instructions, and procedures governing the approval, authorization, coordination, performance, and vouchering of official travel to, from, and between foreign locations in connection with General Services Administration (GSA) programs and operations.  The instructions related to allowances for subsistence and transportation expenses conforms with the provisions of the FTR, Executive Orders, appropriate statutes, numerous decisions of the Comptroller General of the United States and Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, and determinations of the Administrator of General Services.

     b.  The provisions of this directive apply to all GSA employees and for individuals authorized to travel to foreign areas at GSA expense.  This Order applies to the Office of Inspector General (OIG) to the extent that the OIG determines it is consistent with the OIG’s independent authority under the Inspector General Act and does not conflict with other OIG policies or the OIG mission.  This Order applies to the Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA) to the extent that the CBCA determines it is consistent with the CBCA’s independent authority under the Contract Disputes Act and applicable Federal Court decisions and does not conflict with other CBCA policies or the CBCA mission.

     c.  This directive supplements the FTR and is issued under the authority of the FTR.  Supervisors, approval authorities, and employees must still consult the FTR to ensure compliance with the regulations related to all travel-related expenses not specifically addressed in this supplement.

     d.  Any regional directives containing instructions and/or procedures that differ from provisions herein must be cleared in advance through the Office of Travel and Charge Card Services, Office of Administrative Services (OAS).

4.  Revisions

This directive provides updated policies and procedures pertaining to foreign travel previously contained in PFM P 4290.1, Chapter 2, Paragraph 5, and Chapter 6.  It references relevant FTR citations rather than repeating FTR text.  Major revisions include requiring Event Tracker requests for travel to foreign locations to be attached or referenced on the travel authorization; amending the policy for actual expense subsistence reimbursements; and eliminating the requirement for the Administrator and Deputy Administrator to obtain foreign area clearance through the White House in accordance with White House Memorandum 003641, dated July 22, 2015.