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Daily Subsistence Allowance (DSA)
 
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1.0 Description
 
Daily subsistence allowance (DSA) comprises the organization’s total contribution towards such charges as lodging, meals, gratuities, transport cost from place of lodging to the first place of official business, and vice versa, and other payments made for personal services rendered.
 
DSA is applicable for staff members on authorized official travel and for non-staff members when their travel is organized and paid by UNDP.  For non-staff members it shall be on the basis of the standards established for staff members, except where otherwise expressly provided in the terms of their contract.


2.0 Relevant Policies
 
DSA shall be paid for periods away from the duty station, during which the traveller is on official travel status. Such periods include authorized rest stopovers and stopovers that are part of the approved official itinerary.
 
If the traveller has a stopover in the approved official itinerary that is seven (7) hours or more in duration they are entitled to DSA for accommodation at the stopover point. To receive overnight DSA at the rate payable at the stopover place the traveller must obtain accommodation and present the corresponding receipted hotel bill with the travel claim.
 
For travel on initial appointment, reassignment and repatriation, DSA shall be paid only for authorized rest stopovers when travel is organized and paid by UNDP. In these instances DSA is payable for authorized stopovers while the traveller is en-route to his/her destination. Refer to the guideline on the route, mode and standard of accommodation for information on rest stopovers.
 
DSA shall be paid in accordance with the schedule of rates established and periodically reviewed by the ICSC and published in their Monthly Circulars and ICSC/CIRC/DSA (logging required for both. Use ID=UNDP.IS1, Password=YVZC4147)
 
The payment of DSA shall be subject to the conditions specified in the table below.  DSA is only paid upon arrival at the traveller’s destination (i.e. DSA is not paid for the period while the traveller is en-route to the destination).  DSA is not paid for the day on which travel is concluded or for overnight travel on a plane.  This includes flights which arrive and depart on the same day the travel concludes.
 

 

Length of Mission
Mission involves
DSA
Less than 24 hours
Night away from traveller’s residence
Full DSA.
Does not involve a night away from traveller’s residence
No DSA if mission including journey time lasts less than 10 hours from the time of departure from the point of origin to the time of return to the port of entry.
40% of DSA if mission including journey time lasts 10 hrs or more. This applies to round trip journeys completed the same day with no overnight travel.
No DSA for a visit to a project site in the vicinity of the regular duty station or within commuting distance/35-mile radius.
24 hours or longer
Night(s) away from traveller’s residence
A full day’s DSA for the day on which the traveller arrives at the destination, at the rate applicable to the place where the traveller spends the night;
If the traveler has an overnight flight and arrives at their place of accommodation prior to check-in they are entitled to claim reimbursement for early check-in. The actual cost for the accommodation will be reimbursed to a maximum of 50% the applicable DSA rate for the location via the travel claim;
A full day’s DSA for each successive period of 24 hours from midnight to midnight (measured by local times, ignoring time-zone differences);

 

 

Travellers traveling by an indirect route who are otherwise eligible for a stopover (on the basis of the travel time by the most direct route) shall be entitled to such stopover with appropriate DSA not to exceed the DSA at the stopover by the most direct route.
 
Use of Green Hotels
 
Travellers are encouraged to stay at “green” hotels, where available.  Green hotels demonstrate in a coherent and credible way that the environmental impact of the hotel’s operations is minimized, including aspects of waste management, cleaning services, sustainable food options, energy efficiency measures, resources consumption and local transport. Offices are encouraged to arrange locally corporate preferential rates in “green” hotels in the most frequent destinations.
 
Reduced DSA Rates
 
When a traveller is provided free overnight accommodation and/or meals by UNDP, a government and related institutions, or by an airline, reduced DSA shall be paid as follows:

 

Inclusion
 
DSA Reduction
Overnight accommodation is provided
 
50%
Meals are provided
Breakfast
6%
Lunch
12%
Dinner
12%
If overnight accommodation and meals are provided*
 
80%

 

*The remaining 20% DSA is for miscellaneous expenses including transport cost from place of lodging to the first place of official business, and vice versa.

 
A stopover paid by carrier (STPC) may be available if an immediate or same-day connection is not available on the same airline and the travel agent issuing the air ticket will advise the traveller depending on the airline policy. In such a case, the traveller will be provided with accommodation by the airline, and thus shall be required to use the STPC and accordingly receive DSA at the reduced rate.
 
Non-standard DSA Rates
 
In some locations, there may be non-standard rates of DSA, for example for certain higher-price hotels that have not been used for establishing the regular DSA rate, and are listed as such in the schedule of DSA rates established by the ICSC.  There are three types of non-standard DSA rates used in exceptional circumstances: ad hoc, supplementary and special rates at select hotels identified in the ICSC circular.
 
Special hotel rates of DSA shall be paid only in exceptional circumstances, and with prior approval. Special rates of DSA shall be paid only in situations where the traveller has no alternative but to stay in a hotel for which a special rate has been established by the ICSC. The special rate shall be paid only upon presentation of receipted hotel bills and a certification from a senior local UNDP official that accommodation could not be obtained from lower-price hotels.  When accommodation is shared special rates of DSA cannot be claimed, and therefore should not be claimed by travellers or reimbursed.
 
Ad Hoc DSA
 
For conferences, meetings, training courses and other events that take place at facilities where the total cost of meals, accommodation and incidentals differs significantly from the regular DSA for the location, an ad hoc DSA rate may be established by the Policy and Compensation Unit/Office of Human Resources/BoM/UNDP upon request from the organizing office well in advance of the event. The calculation of this special ad hoc DSA rate shall be based on the actual room and meal costs at the facility used, taking into account any special package arrangements that may have been made by the organizers.
 
For groups of 20 or more participants the organizing office is required to make arrangements for preferential rates for hotel accommodation for participants, the cost savings of which will be passed on to UNDP by establishing an ad hoc DSA rate; and to request the Head of Bureau to review the location selection process, and authorize the most economical option, including transportation, DSA and facilities costs.
 
Staff should apply the provisions of the sustainable procurement policy to the procurement of conference and hotel facilities for UNDP conferences.
 
Where an ad hoc DSA rate has been established for a given event, participants will only be provided with the ad hoc DSA rate. The payment of an ad hoc rate shall be made only upon presentation of a receipted hotel bill and a copy of the ad hoc rate approval with the travel expense claim.
 
Supplementary DSA
 

Supplementary DSA is a supplement to the established DSA where significantly higher accommodation costs are incurred with adequate justification. This supplement is not an automatic entitlement and shall be paid only under exceptional circumstances.

When a traveller is required, due to lack of more economical accommodation, to use accommodation that costs significantly more than the specified room percentage (established by ICSC) of the DSA, a supplementary DSA shall be considered for the difference between the cost of accommodation, including room tax and service charge, and the specified room percentage of the DSA.
 
Supplementary DSA shall be paid only upon presentation of receipted hotel bills and a certification from a senior local UNDP official that no other good commercial hotel accommodation was available. When accommodation is shared supplementary DSA cannot be claimed, and therefore should not be claimed by travellers or reimbursed.
 
Claims for supplementary DSA shall not be reimbursed for major cities (which offer a full range of hotel accommodations), or when the total excess DSA amount is less than US$50. Amounts under US$50 shall be exceptionally considered when the total period of stay is short (that is, three days or less), provided the daily excess room cost is at least 10 percent of the applicable total DSA rate.
 
DSA for Travel by Automobile, Train, or Boat
 
When traveling by automobile, travellers are expected to travel as far as is possible each day, normally, for a daily minimum distance of 560 kilometers or 350 miles.
 
DSA for each day shall be paid on the basis of the rate for the city in which the overnight stopover is made. When traveling by automobile, train or boat, DSA shall not be reimbursed in excess of the total amount for travel expenses which would have been payable if the journey had been made by the most direct and economical route by air, if such means are available.
 
DSA for Official Business While on Annual Leave
 
If a staff member is authorized to carry out official business while on annual leave outside his/her duty station, he/she shall be entitled to 100 per cent of the applicable DSA rate, and the time spent on official business shall be recorded as an absence on official business.
 
DSA for Official Business While on Home Leave
 
If a staff member is required to carry out official business while on home leave, he/she shall normally be entitled to DSA as follows:
 
Official business at the officially recognized home leave place:

50 per cent of the applicable rate, if hotel accommodation is not secured;
100 per cent of the applicable rate, if he/she provides a receipted hotel bill.
 
Official business at a place in the home country other than the officially recognized HL place:

100 per cent of the applicable rate.
 
DSA for Annual Leave While on Travel Status for Official Business
 
For extended assignments outside the duty station of one or more months, a maximum of 1.5 days DSA per month shall be paid for annual leave taken in respect to each completed month for which a staff member is on travel status for official business.
 
DSA shall not be paid in respect of the 1.5 days leave (referred to above) taken at the conclusion of active duty on an assignment, prior to the staff member’s return to his/her duty station.
 
Example: If a staff member is on duty from 1 June to 25 July and takes annual leave from 7 to 8 July, DSA for 1.5 shall be paid. However, if the 1.5 annual leave is taken from 26 to 27 July or later, no DSA shall be paid.
 
DSA for Official Business When Annual Leave is Taken Prior to the Start of Business Travel or Post the Completion of Business Travel
 
If annual leave is taken prior to the start of official business travel DSA is paid effective the day of arrival in the locality for business once annual leave status has ceased. 
 
For example, if a New York based staff member’s official mission is in Bangkok June 10 to 14 and she elects to take annual leave June 7 to 9 and travel to Bangkok early, DSA will be paid effective June 10, the official start of the mission.
 
If annual leave is taken post the completion of business travel DSA is paid for the days of official business and not for the day travel would have concluded had they not taken annual leave.
 
For example, if a New York based staff member’s official mission is in Bangkok June 10 to 14 and she elects to take annual leave June 15 to 18 DSA will be paid June 10 to 14. The reason DSA is paid for June 14 is the travel day may begin at 12:01 the following the last day of duty travel which is the 15th. Therefore, the 15th is the day travel would have concluded had the staff member not elected to take annual leave.
 
DSA on Sick Leave during Official Business Travel
 
DSA shall continue to be paid during periods of sick leave while on official duty travel under certain conditions. Sick leave of three days or more must be supported by a medical certificate. If the staff member is hospitalized, however, only one-third of the applicable DSA shall be paid.
 
DSA for Extended Periods of Official Business
 
When a staff member is assigned to a duty station other than his/her regular duty station for a period of less than one year, different rates apply for the first 60 days, days 61-120 and days after 120.
 
These extended period rates are payable during any one tour of duty away from the regular duty station. A tour of duty is an assignment at one location, continuous or otherwise, or which may be interrupted by official travel to other locations not involving the traveller’s return at UNDP expense or to resume duties at the staff member’s regular duty station. Each tour of duty away from the regular duty station shall be counted separately for purposes of determining the applicable rates.
 
During such extended period of official business travel, DSA shall be paid as follows:
 
• First 60 days, at the standard DSA rate applicable to the place of assignment;
After 60 days, at a reduced rate as published in the ICSC circular;
After 120 days, normally at 60 percent of the first-60-days rate.
     - The after-120-days DSA rates for New York, Geneva and Vienna, are published separately in the annex to UN circular ST/IC/2011/13.
 
In locations where the first-60-days rate and the after-60-days rate are the same, there shall be no reduction in the DSA rate after 120 days.
 
Extended period example: If a staff member, whose regular duty station is Apia, is assigned to Suva for 45 days, visits Solomon Islands for 15 days, New Caledonia for 20 days, returns to Suva for 25 days, goes back to New Caledonia for another 5 days and returns to Suva for 75 days, the DSA will be paid as follows:
 
 
Location
Days
DSA Rate
Suva
45
first-60-days
Solomon Islands
15
first-60-days
New Caledonia
20
first-60-days
Suva
15
first-60-days
Suva
10
after-60-days
New Caledonia
5
first-60-days
Suva
50
after-60-days
Suva
25
after-120-days

 

Currency
 

The rates for the first 60 days, which are established in the United States dollar are normally paid in the same currency unless payment in the local currency is deemed more appropriate. For periods after the initial 60 days, payment shall normally be in the local currency. 




3.0 Flowchart

There is no flowchart for this sub-process


4.0 Procedures

  

Ref
Action
Responsible Party(ies)
Notes
1.
Present hotel receipts with travel claim
Traveller
1)     When requesting DSA for a stopover.
2)     When Ad hoc, special hotel DSA rate or supplementary DSA is applicable
3)     When early arrival at the destination upon arrival from an overnight flight necessitates early check-in.
2.
Calculate supplementary DSA as follows:
(a) Take the difference between the actual daily room cost (including room tax and service charge) and the room percentage of DSA for the location;
(b) Multiply the daily difference by the number of days of stay in the hotel;
(c) Pay supplementary DSA if the product in (b) above is at least $50; pay if below $50 provided the period of stay is 3 days or less and (a) above is at least 10% of the total DSA;
(d) Do not pay if the conditions in (c) above are not met.
Traveller or authorizing unit responsible for calculating travel claims
Example:
Actual room cost: $120; DSA rate: $150
Room percentage: 65% of $150 = $97.50
Daily difference: $120 – $97.50 = $22.50
Note: If the traveller stays in a hotel for which there is higher DSA rate but the room percentage is still not sufficient to cover the actual room costs in that hotel, the supplementary DSA should be calculated using the Elsewhere rate for that city, and not the higher hotel rate. The DSA payment for that location will then be the Elsewhere DSA plus the supplementary DSA, therefore completely ignoring the higher hotel DSA rate.

 

 



5.0 Inputs

N/A


6.0 Deliverables

N/A


7.0 Roles and Responsibilities

  

Responsible Party(ies)
Responsibilities
Remarks
Traveller
Arrange travel in accordance with the approved travel request; commence travel only after the travel request has been approved.
Country Office / Regional Center Administrative or Finance Officer in the primary mission place
Maintain an accurate record of the traveller’s travel in and out of the primary mission place to ensure that the full and reduced DSA rates are properly applied.
For an extended tour of duty in one or more locations
Traveller
Book hotel room with the knowledge of the DSA rate established for the locations to be visited; keep hotel receipts for higher-price hotels if an ad hoc, special hotel DSA rate, or supplementary DSA applies.
Selects ‘green’ hotels where possible.
Keeps hotel receipt if accommodation has been secured during an authorized stop over 7 hours or longer in duration.
Ad hoc, special hotel DSA rate or supplementary DSA is paid only under certain conditions as stipulated in Section 2.0 above.
Group Organizer – Organizing Office
Make arrangements for preferential rates for hotel accommodation for participants selecting ‘green’ hotels where possible.
For groups of 20 or more: provides a recommendation (preferred hotel) and selection process details to Head of Bureau. Obtain Head of Bureau authorization to contract preferred rates.
Establish an ad hoc DSA rate with Policy Compensation Unit/ OHR well in advance of the event. Distributes ad hoc rate approval from OHR to the attendees.
Ad hoc DSA rate
Head of Bureau
Review the selection process and authorize the most economical accommodation option, including transportation, DSA and facilities costs. 
For groups of 20 or more when accommodation is being secured.
Policy and Compensation Unit/ OHR
Authorize ad hoc rate for group event.
Conferences, meetings, training courses and other events taking place at facilities where the total cost of meals and accommodation and incidentals differs from the regular DSA of the location.
Traveller
When claiming special or supplemental DSA confirms to certifying official that accommodation was not shared.
Before leaving the mission place, obtain from a senior official in the CO a certification that no other good commercial accommodation was available.
If a special hotel DSA rate or supplementary DSA applies.
Traveller
Submits hotel receipts and approval for special, supplementary or ad hoc rate via the travel claim.
If an ad hoc, special hotel rate or supplementary DSA applies.  Or if accommodation is secured during an authorized stop-over in excess of 7 hours.

 

 



8.0 Templates and Forms

N/A


9.0 Additional Info. and Tools

ICSC – Monthly Circular
(logging required for both. Use ID=UNDP.IS1, Password=YVZC4147)



10.0 Lessons

N/A


11.0 On the Drawing Board

N/A