DATE:           September 29, 2020

SUBJECT:    The Authority of the General Counsel

  1. DELEGATION.  By virtue of the authority vested in me as Secretary of the Treasury,
    including authority vested in me by 31 USC 321(b), it is ordered that:
    1. The General Counsel is hereby delegated authority to determine the structural and functional organization of the Legal Division and to establish the policies, procedures, and standards governing its functioning.
    2. The General Counsel is hereby delegated the authority to receive service of any
      subpoena, summons, or other judicial process directed to an officer or employee of the Department in that officer’s or employee’s official capacity in any litigation.  The General Counsel or the General Counsel’s designee may redelegate this authority in writing to any employee within the Legal Division of the Department.  This authority does not in any way abrogate or modify the requirements of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure regarding service of summons and complaint.
  2. PURPOSE.  The Department has a General Counsel, who pursuant to 31 USC 301(f)(1), is the Chief Law Officer of the Department.
    1. The General Counsel is the final legal authority within the Department, including settlement authority for any legal claim or dispute, except as otherwise delegated or authorized by law.  The General Counsel will, as appropriate, seek the views of the Departmental Offices policy office or bureau official responsible for the subject matter of the claim or dispute prior to settlement.
    2. The General Counsel is the head of and supervises the Legal Division, which constitutes the consolidated legal staff of the Department.  This Order shall not be construed to affect the authority and responsibilities of the Treasury Inspector General, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), or the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), as set out in the Inspector General Act of 1978, as amended, 5 USC App. III, and Treasury Orders 114-01 and 115-01; or the Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as set out in 12 USC 482.
    3. With the exception of persons employed by the Treasury Inspector General, TIGTA, SIGTARP, SIGPR, or the Chief Counsel of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, all attorneys whose duties include providing legal advice to officials in any office or bureau of the Department are part of the Legal Division under the supervision of the General Counsel.
    1. The General Counsel provides legal advice to the Secretary of the Treasury, the Deputy Secretary, the Under Secretaries, the Assistant Secretaries, and to all offices and bureaus of the Department on any matter that may arise within the Department.  The General Counsel also:
      1. 1)      considers the legal problems relating to all aspects of the Department’s statutory responsibilities; Department management; government financial operations; the public debt; the revenue and customs laws; international and domestic economic, monetary, and financial affairs, and law enforcement activities;
      2. 2)      manages the Department’s position with respect to any legal claim or dispute, including final authorization of all settlements;
      3. 3)      reviews the Department’s regulatory actions, including guidance and enforcement actions, for consistency with law and litigation risk;
      4. 4)      reviews the Department’s ethics program and counsels the Department’s officers and employees on conflicts of interest and ethics matters;
      5. 5)      assists in the preparation of certain legislative reports to the Congress and the Office of Management and Budget, and the Department’s annual legislative program;
      6. 6)      considers appeals to the Secretary in administrative matters where so designated; and
      7. 7)      performs such other tasks as the Secretary may direct.
    2. In performing these functions and services, the General Counsel operates principally through and supervises the Deputy General Counsels, the Assistant General Counsels (including the Assistant General Counsel who is the Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service), the Tax Legislative Counsel, the International Tax Counsel, and the Benefits Tax Counsel.  Each of these officials must refer to the General Counsel any matter on which the General Counsel appropriately would take action.
    3. The Legal Division is a bureau within the Department for purposes of appointment and
      administration of personnel, and the labor management relations program. The General Counsel, with the concurrence of the Assistant Secretary for Management, may determine that the Legal Division will operate with other authorities and responsibilities of a bureau, except as otherwise delegated or authorized by law.
  4. CANCELLATION.  This Order supersedes Treasury Order 107-04, dated January 16, 2009.
  5. OFFICE OF PRIMARY INTEREST.  The Office of the General Counsel.


Steven T. Mnuchin
Secretary of the Treasury​