Welcome to the Bureau of the Public Debt website!

What We Do

What We Do

Our job is to borrow the money needed to operate the federal government and to account for the resulting debt. In a nutshell, we borrow by selling Treasury bills, notes, and bonds, as well as U.S. Savings Bonds; we pay interest to investors; and, when the time comes to pay back the loans, we redeem those securities. Every time we borrow or pay back money, it affects the outstanding debt of the United States.

We also provide reimbursable administrative and information technology services to other government agencies through our Administrative Resource Center (ARC).

In addition, Public Debt has been charged with implementing a program to help government agencies reduce the number of improper payments being issued.   The program, under the authority of President Obama’s June 18, 2010 Executive memorandum, is called the “Do Not Pay Business Center”

Duties & Functions

Public Debt is responsible for six programs:

  1. Wholesale Securities Services
  2. Government Agency Investment Services
  3. Retail Securities Services
  4. Summary Debt Accounting
  5. ARC Franchise Services
  6. Do Not Pay Business Center

In managing these programs, we ensure that reliable systems and processes are in place for buying and transferring Treasury securities. Annually, we auction and issue $4.7 trillion in marketable securities and 4.8 trillion in non-marketable securities, including $195 billion in savings bonds. We account for the Public Debt of the United States and provide timely and accurate reports. As part of the Treasury's Franchise Fund, we offer a wide range of administrative and technology services, on a fully reimbursable basis, to many other federal agencies.

Federal Reserve Banks operate critical systems in support of our programs and perform a wide range of transaction processing and customer service functions. Their services are essential to our mission.

We also rely on private-sector financial institutions and other organizations to provide indispensable, front-line transaction services to our savings bond customers at more than 40,000 locations. We rely extensively on automated systems to carry out our functions and deliver services online. We've developed and continually enhance systems to auction Treasury securities, process a wide range of servicing transactions, initiate billions of dollars in customer payments, and account for the public debt at the detail and summary level.

How We Can Help You

We place a priority on customer service. We want investors to use our electronic systems and services to purchase securities and manage their holdings online. Our TreasuryDirect.gov website provides these services and is a prime source of information for investors. At the same time, we're committed to providing exemplary personal assistance when investors request it.

Our operations are funded by an annual appropriation for administering the public debt and permanent-indefinite appropriations for Federal Reserve Bank services and interest on the public debt. The services that we provide to our franchise customers are self-funded.

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