US GOVT Dept of Treasury--bureau vs office?

What exactly is the difference between a bureau vs. office? Specifically I am looking at the US Dept of Treasury. FinCen is listed as a bureau. Does that mean it is an independent agency like the IRS for example? Then there is the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). Is this merely a division within the Treasury dept, or an independent agency also? Both are under the auspices of the Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. Thanks for clarification on this matter!


Thanks, your link did point me in the right direction by helping me eventually find out the distinction between an executive agency and an independent agency. (I guess that was my real question, but I had the wrong terminology!)

I guess OFAC, FinCEN and the IRS are each executive agencies that are part of the Treasury Department which are treated as managerially and budgetarily separate in order to carry out some part of the executive functions whereas independent agencies are those that exist outside of the departments of the executive branch and are established through separate statutes passed by the U.S. Congress.

2 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There might be some obscure distiction between bureaus and offices, but both of them will be part of Treasury, not independent. There are even bodies called Agency or Administration which are not independent. (And although the IRS might feel like an independent agency, it is technically part of Treasury too.) Here's a full list of the (not all that many) truly independent agencies:

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  • tsang
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Treasury Bureaus

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