Yes, the Joint Travel Regulations [PDF], par. 020303 requires DoD civilians that are TDY/TAD to a military installation at an Integrated Lodging Program location to book government quarters (if available) unless an exemption (as outlined in the JTR) applies.
The lodging screen will display mandatory available lodging for your specific TDY/TAD location. If you are TDY/TAD to a program site that requires lodging, DTS will automatically route you to the reservation module to book lodging. List View: In the List view, the hotels that meet the criteria are displayed in order of daily room rate. Click the “Details” link under a hotel name to view a map and other information about the hotel. Map View: In the Map view, the hotels that meet the criteria are called out on the map with flags indicating their rates. Flags may be obscured if hotels are located in close proximity to one another – zoom in to enlarge the map and the flags will separate. Click on the rate flag to view a description of the hotel, including the hotel name. MyTravel does not display DoD Lodging and any travel to a military installation must be booked using DTS. For Travel to areas other than military installations, MyTravel displays all available lodging types with an indicator for each type of lodging. If a non-compliant option is chosen, a justification is required and must be approved.
If you decline available DoD, PPV, or DoD Preferred commercial lodging, your lodging reimbursement will be limited to the amount the government would have paid if used unless an approved exception is made. Your Authorizing Official may approve exceptions based on distance and lower rate, as well as other exceptions outlined in the JTR. DTS will direct you to the lodging you should book automatically. If you decline to use the lodging to which you are directed, DTS will display a pre-audit and limit your lodging reimbursement. If you have an exception to use, justify your choice by selecting an appropriate reason code for non-use. If using MyTravel, please see the link for instructions to identify the correct limitation amount on your request and expense report. These steps are outlined here: MyTravel Limiting Reimbursement for ILP Sites [PDF, 7 pages]
If you have ADA indicated in your Defense Travel System (DTS) profile, you will get a pop-up message telling you to contact the property with your specific needs. While DoD Lodging facilities and commercial properties have to comply with ADA, there are usually a limited number of rooms that may be available at any given time. If you booked DoD Lodging in DTS and then, after contacting the property, learn that the property cannot accommodate you, obtain a Certificate of Non-Availability (CNA) from the property, cancel your reservation in DTS, book a DoD Preferred commercial property, and manually enter the CNA issued by the property as part of the pre-audit justification. If you booked a commercial lodging property in DTS and the property cannot accommodate you, cancel your reservation and book a different commercial property.
Yes, travelers should verify that the TDY/TAD location is correct. When TDY/TAD is to a military installation or location then the authorization must reflect that. A nearby city/town should not be included on the authorization if TDY/TAD is to the installation. Only list a city/town as your TDY/TAD location if you are TDY/TAD to a non-installation location in that city/town. Failure to properly reflect the actual TDY/TAD location is not in adherence with the Joint Travel Regulations.
DoD civilians are not required to use government quarters when TDY/TAD to U.S. military installations (at a program site) when the DoD lodging facility at that location is not available in the Defense Travel System. Service members traveling to Marine Corps installations must check Inns of the Corps availability.
The Integrated Lodging Program, which began as a pilot program in 2015, was made permanent as of January 2021 with the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The program directs travelers to use government, privatized, or DoD Preferred commercial lodging before other lodging accommodations when TDY/TAD to a program location. When government, privatized, or DoD Preferred commercial lodging is available, but the traveler does not use it (and the traveler is not authorized to declare quarters not available), lodging reimbursement is limited to the amount the government would have paid if used. Government, privatized, and DoD Preferred commercial lodging offer rates below per diem, which explains why your reimbursement is less than per diem. By selecting lodging accommodations outside of the program, you are accepting the responsibility to pay the difference in lodging costs.
Like any purchase of a product or service, the more you buy, the better the price, and the more extras you receive. Limiting the hotels in the program enables the Department to select safe and secure properties while increasing competition for both rates and amenities. By directing DoD travelers to stay in a limited number of lodging establishments, DoD is providing cost avoidance on lodging spend and allowing more official travel trips while ensuring that hotels meet certain safety criteria, and obtain amenities such as free Wi-Fi, breakfast, parking, etc., which also saves the Department travel spend. Concentrating our travelers into a limited number of hotels delivers higher volume to those hotels, bolstering their occupancy while it increases the competitive nature of the market place, which improves rates, quality of hotels in the program, and amenities included with the rate.
If you stay in DoD Preferred commercial lodging, you will receive a customer satisfaction questionnaire after your trip. We encourage you to complete this survey as the information provided will help shape the future enhancements to the program. If you would like to submit feedback on privatized or DoD lodging (government) facilities, please submit a Travel Assistance Center help ticket (via TraX). We also encourage you to share your feedback or concerns with the management of the lodging facility during your stay.
If you do not have access to DTS (or MyTravel), you should contact your TMC to make privatized and commercial lodging reservations.