Treasury Historical Association

Treasury Department

To learn more, visit the US Treasury History Page

A brief history of the Treasury Department

The second oldest department in the Federal government, the United States Department of the Treasury was created by the Congress on September 2, 1789.  Besides fulfilling its responsibility of managing money, the Department has performed many other functions in the past.  Examples of agencies that have sprung from earlier Treasury organizations include portions of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health & Human Services, Homeland Security, the Interior, and Justice, as well as the General Services Administration, the Office of Management and Budget and, in the Legislative Branch, the Government Accountability Office.   

Currently, Treasury consists of twelve bureaus and components, as well as the Departmental Offices (previously titled “Office of the Secretary”), with a total of over 103,000 employees (FY 2017).  The primary activities of the Department include: economic and fiscal policy development; international and domestic economic research; government accounting; cash and debt management; supervision of financial institutions; production of currency, coins and commemorative medals; assessment and collection of taxes; and, fostering interagency and global cooperation against domestic and international financial crimes, as well as internal auditing and investigative functions.