by Sarah J.F. Braley | August 01, 2013
The Government Services Admini­stration has named 15 longtime mem­bers of the U.S. tourism industry to its new Govern­mentwide Travel Advisory Committee, charged with reviewing federal travel policies and processes, starting with how the federal per diem rates are set each year.

Among those picked for the committee are Claudia Bonetti, corporate travel manager at Lockheed Mar­tin; Patrick Moscaritolo, president and CEO of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau; Paul Somogyi, Marriott's direc­tor of sales for gov­ernment and affinity segments; and Dane Swenson, chief of strategic planning and policy for the Department of Defense's travel office.

Moscaritolo's journey to the committee began last August, when the current federal per diems were announced. After meeting with local general managers and hotel marketing executives, he wrote to the GSA administrator.  "A week later, I got a phone call from the regional administrator for New England, who wanted a better sense of the issues," he said.

Moscaritolo ex­pects the committee to establish next year's rates, as well as a new process for determining them that reflects the unique circumstances of each destination.

"We all want to make sure that the rates government employees pay are rationally based," Moscaritolo said. "The whole notion of traveling smarter and being able to make smarter decisions is a big piece of this."