The Treasury Department on Thursday announced steps it is taking to improve its own compliance efforts, including a reassessment of the way it pursues enforcement actions.
The changes were announced in a memo released by Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo. They apply generally to all divisions of the Treasury, excluding the Offices of Inspectors General and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.
“The Treasury Department provides critical services that touch the lives of millions of American families, workers, and businesses,” said Adeyemo in a press release. “Today’s announcement is part of a comprehensive strategy directed by Secretary [Janet] Yellen to promote fairness and accountability in our compliance and enforcement efforts as we safeguard against waste, fraud, and abuse.”
The strategy is centered around four key principles:
- Seeking to make it easier for individuals and entities who want to comply with the law to fulfill their obligations. This includes making program rules and guidance more accessible, expanding opportunities for self-correction, and strengthening communications with those with financial obligations.
- Prioritizing enforcement based on an appropriate consideration of relevant factors, most notably by strategically focusing efforts on identifying and assessing the level of risks within each program to “be most effective in increasing compliance.”
- Investing in personnel, technology, and other resources to “investigate and resolve noncompliance efficiently.” The Treasury will take a “data-centric approach for monitoring compliance to identify anomalies” and patterns and use automated tools to “reduce manual effort and increase efficiencies in compliance testing.”
- Promoting fairness, trust, and accountability in administration and enforcement efforts through well-defined and documented compliance and remediation strategies.
The Treasury intends to implement these priorities through review of its existing procedures, consultation with stakeholders, regular system audits, and semiannual reports to Adeyemo.