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April 18, 2024

“Per Diem” explanation.

By John Kraft & Kirk Allen

On March 10, 2012

“Per Diem” explanation.

After a short phone call from a conference attendee that stated they were authorized a per diem rate for every day they were in Chicago, I decided to look into this issue a little further. It was not my intention to berate anyone for acting within the laws or regulations that apply to a particular situation, but since I was questioned on those articles I will explain the costs associated with travel as part of public business. I have also requested a copy of the district’s policy on reimbursement for travel related expenses and will update this article after receipt of their policy.

This link lists the per diem rates I am referring to: (Table 2, Page 5).

IRS per diem rates are inclusive of lodging (hotels) unless other wise indicated by M&IE (Meals and Incidental Expenses). The M&IE rate is used when lodging is not required (in this case the school district already paid for lodging).

We will use the rates listed on the Internal Revenue Service webpage that were effective during the time-frame of the conference. Go to Table 2 on page 5 of the above link and you will see that the Chicago area authorizes $242/day per diem (inclusive of lodging) or $65/day for M&IE. The M&IE are what the conference attendees were authorized payment for, since the school district paid for the lodging with its credit card. Keep in mind that M&IE rate listed is a FULL day at the work location.

For the first day (Nov 17) and last day (Nov 20), we will assume they were away from home for a half-day which computes to $32.50 for each of those two days. We could even go a step further and calculate based on which meal was reimbursed, but the $32.50 should average close enough for this purpose.

As you will see below Tom Davis and Sam exceeded the total allowance. Not shown is Tom Tuttle, who apparently was on a diet, because he came nowhere near the allowable M&IE reembursements. Thanks Tom T!                                  


M&IE Allowed

Tom Davis



Nov 17 $32.50 $83.56 $69.00 $101.90
Nov 18 $65.00 $90.36 $68.85 $61.50
Nov 19 $65.00 $112.09 $35.07 $72.89
Nov 20 $32.50 $26.46 $13.56 $0
TOTAL Allowed: $195.00 $312.47 $186.48 (awaiting receipts) $236.29












Mileage .555/mile $116.55 District Vehicle $101.01
Mileage .555/mile $116.55 District Vehicle $101.01
TOTAL   $233.10   $202.02

 I will publish another article on legal and illegal use of public credit (credit cards) when I finish calculating the totals.


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