Auction Regulations (UOC)
This page focuses on the regulations for Treasury auctions.
You may also be interested in the other pages about laws and regulations as described in the boxes below.
Treasury Auction Regulations (31 CFR Part 356)
The Uniform Offering Circular (UOC) sets out the terms and conditions for the sale and issue of marketable Treasury bills, notes, and bonds. The UOC describes these securities, how they are auctioned, including how to submit bids, and the authorized payment methods.
Treasury’s Auction Rules Workshop
On October 21, 2022, the U.S. Department of the Treasury conducted a virtual workshop on its marketable security auction rules. A recording of the event and the slides from the presentation can be accessed using the links below.
On May 22, 2020, we published a Notice and Request for Information on the "Development and Potential Issuance of Treasury Floating Rate Notes Indexed to the Secured Overnight Financing Rate." See the comments we received.
Amendments to Treasury's auction regulations
Most of the links on this page go to PDFs on our website. We tell you only when the link is to a regular web page or a text file (not a PDF).
Noncompetitive Bidding and Award Limits Increase and Other Modifications to the UOC
This final rule amendment (download PDF format, file size-223KB, uploaded 07/07/22) revises the UOC to raise the noncompetitive bidding and award limits for all Treasury marketable security auctions from $5 million to $10 million; removes references to press release, TreasuryDirect, and Legacy Treasury Direct; clarifies that Treasury does not conduct unscheduled reopenings of TIPS; adds clarifying language regarding bids that satisfy guarantee arrangements; clarifies that new TIPS are issued with a minimum interest rate of 1/8 of one percent; replaces references to “inflation-indexed” with “inflation-protected;” and clarifies how to calculate the number of days when the year following the issue date of a Treasury bill is a leap year. The effective date of the amendment is August 8, 2022.
Technical corrections (July 2016)
Floating Rate Notes indexed to 13-week Treasury Bill auction rates (July 2013)
We amended the regulations to accommodate the auction and issuance of Floating Rate Notes (FRNs). The amendment also makes some technical clarifications and conforming changes. A few months later, we published minor corrections to the July final rule.
You may also be interested in following these links.
(The first 3 links go to regular web pages. The others go to PDFs.)
- Our main page on Floating Rate Notes
- Examples of Floating Rate Note calculations. These examples are for illustrative purposes only
- Frequently asked questions and a list of facts (referred to as a Term Sheet) about Floating Rate Notes
- We published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR) on December 5, 2012, soliciting comments on the potential issuance of Treasury floating rate securities. The ANPR requested comments by January 22, 2013 on the design details, terms and conditions, and any other relevant issues. See the comment letters we received.
- We published a Notice and Request for Information on March 19, 2012, asking for comments on the potential issuance of Treasury floating rate notes. See the comments we received.
Minimum interest rate (April 2011)
We amended the regulations to establish a minimum interest rate of 1/8 of one percent for all new Treasury fixed-principal ("nominal") and Treasury inflation-protected (TIPS) note and bond issues.
Increase in customer confirmation reporting threshold (September 2009)
We amended the regulations to increase the customer confirmation reporting requirement threshold amount from $750 million to $2 billion for all Treasury marketable securities auctions.
UOC update (June 2009)
We amended the regulations to make various changes to conform to Treasury's current auction practices. Specifically, we modified the description of Treasury bills, clarified the competitive bid format for Treasury bills and fixed-principal securities, eliminated a provision related to "guaranteed bid" arrangements, updated an example of the proration of auction awards, clarified the provision for the notification of auction awards and settlement, and updated references to the Bureau of the Fiscal Service's website.
Decrease in minimum and multiple amounts eligible to be stripped (March 2008)
We amended the regulations to lower the minimum and multiple par amounts of Treasury notes, bonds, and inflation-protected securities that may be stripped from $1,000 to $100. The amendment also makes additional minor technical clarifications to the auction regulations.
Certain marketable Treasury securities not eligible for Legacy Treasury Direct system (January 2007)
We amended the regulations to provide that certain Treasury securities would not be eligible for purchase or holding in the Legacy Treasury Direct system.
Increase in customer confirmation reporting threshold (January 2007)
We amended the regulations to increase the customer confirmation reporting requirement threshold from $500 million to $750 million and clarified that customer confirmations might then be emailed as well as faxed or hand delivered.
Treasury marketable securities in TreasuryDirect and Legacy Treasury Direct (September 2005)
We amended the regulations to accommodate participation in Treasury marketable securities auctions for securities to be held in either TreasuryDirect or Legacy Treasury Direct. The amendment also eliminated the ability to bid competitively through Legacy Treasury Direct.
Bidder definitions (July 2005)
We amended the regulations to allow two entities engaged in a certain business relationship, generally known as "merchant banking," be treated as separate bidders. We received one comment letter in response to the proposed rule.
Six-decimal pricing and other modifications to the UOC (September 2004)
We amended the regulations to accommodate six-decimal pricing, negative-yield bidding for TIPS auctions, zero-filing of competitive bids not completed to three decimals, raise the noncompetitive bidding and award limit for all Treasury bill auctions from $1 million to $5 million.
Plain language Treasury auction regulations (July 2004)
In 2004, Treasury’s auction regulations were republished in a plain language format. A subsequent notice was issued to correct two equations in August 2004. We received one comment letter in response to the proposed plain language rule.
Calculating and reporting net long positions (December 2002)
We amended the regulations to modify the net long position reporting threshold in Treasury securities auctions. The amendment also incorporated certain changes in Treasury's auction program that we had already implemented. See the comment letters we received in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
Calculating net long positions in reopenings (November 2001)
We amended the regulations to modify the calculation of the net long position in reopenings of Treasury securities, which are auctions of additional amounts of previously issued securities. The modification provides an optional exclusion amount in the calculation. See the comment letters we received in response to the advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
Simplifying the STRIPS program (November 2000)
We amendment the regulations to simplify the STRIPS program by making Treasury fixed-principal securities strippable to the penny; modifying the minimum and multiple amounts that are required to strip Treasury securities by setting them each at $1000; and allowing Treasury to designate a Treasury note or bond as strippable even if it was not originally designated as such by its offering announcement.
Miscellaneous amendments to the rules (January 1999)
We amended the regulations to incorporate changes in Treasury’s marketable securities auction program. Specifically, we defined the term "bid-to-cover ratio," changed the minimum bid amounts for all Treasury securities, expanded the uniform/single-price auction format, and made minor, unrelated technical corrections.
Fungible interest components stripped from TIPS (March 1999)*
Note: The links for this change are text files, not PDFs.
We amended the regulations to make interest components stripped from Treasury inflation-protected securities fungible (interchangeable). We received one comment letter, from The Bond Market Association in response to the proposed rule that was published in December 1997.
Change in timeframe for certain noncompetitive bidding restrictions (January 1998)
Note: This is a text file.
We amended the regulations to extend the deadline for certain noncompetitive bidding restrictions to the time of the announcement of the auction results.
Treasury marketable inflation-protected securities (January 1997)*
We amended the regulations to set out the terms, conditions, and features for marketable inflation-protected securities. We also created a web page with a summary of the key provisions and features of the security.
Netting of treasury auction awards by a clearing corporation (June 1994)
We amended the regulations to allow a clearing corporation to net securities awarded at an auction to submitters that are its members with the when-issued and secondary market trades of such members in the same securities.
Interpretations of Treasury's auction regulations
Deferred issuance of treasury securities
In a letter dated June 3, 2013, we provided interpretive guidance and clarification that stated that it will not defer issuance of securities awarded in an auction beyond the scheduled issue date. However, Treasury has no objection to the arrangement of an alternative settlement through a secondary market transaction with a dealer or depository institution.
Fungible interest components stripped from inflation-protected securities*
In a letter dated November 3, 1998, we provided interpretive guidance and clarification on the regulatory treatment of fungible (i.e., interchangeable) stripped interest components of inflation-protected securities.
We urge market participants to read this letter in conjunction with the interpretation letter dated January 17, 1997, which provided initial guidance and clarification on the regulatory treatment of inflation-protected securities.
Note: This is a text file.
In a letter dated May 9, 1997, we provided guidance and clarification on several issues pertaining to investment advisers to foster a better understanding of the auction rules and to help ensure that investment advisers submit accurate bids in Treasury securities auctions.
Net long position reporting requirements
Note: This is a text file.
In a letter dated October 12, 1995, we provided guidance on the reporting requirements for calculating, reporting and aggregating the net long position in Treasury security auctions.
*Note: Treasury changed references in the auction regulations from "inflation-indexed" securities to "inflation-protected" securities (acronym "TIPS") when the auction rules were republished in a plain language format in 2004.