June 12, 2023

US Department of the Treasury aims to improve fairness and transparency of compliance and enforcement programs

On June 8, 2023, the US Department of the Treasury announced a new effort to improve fairness and transparency in the Department’s compliance and enforcement practices.  The Treasury Department provides critical services that affect the lives of millions of families, including financing for small businesses and processing a majority of federal payments made to the public such as Social Security, Veterans Administration benefits, and tax refunds.  In an effort to improve interactions with the public, ensure that office meet their legal obligations, and prevent waste, fraud, and abuse in the Department, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo issued a memorandum to provide all of the Treasury’s bureaus and offices with a new framework intended to guide compliance and enforcement operations.  The new framework establishes the following four core principles for all Treasury offices:

  1. Make it easier for individuals and entities that want to comply with the law to fulfill their obligations;
  2. Prioritize compliance monitoring and enforcement, including in areas that present the greatest risk and most problematic conduct;
  3. Invest in personnel, technology, and other resources to investigate and resolve noncompliance efficiently; and
  4. Promote fairness, trust, and accountability in program administration and enforcement efforts.


In order to implement these principles, Adeyemo asks each office within the Treasury:  to review its existing compliance and enforcement policies and procedures to ensure compliance with these principles; to consult with key stakeholders to identify ways to improve fairness, especially in situations where limited data collection may mask certain disparities; and to develop methods to test the ability of current systems to detect disparate impacts.  Department offices are also expected also submit semi-annual reports to the Deputy Secretary regarding their efforts to comply with and implement these principles.

Department of Treasury Press Release | Deputy Secretary’s Memorandum