The Secretary of the Treasury makes the final decision on currency design as established by the Second Legal Tender Act of July 11, 1862 and 12 U.S.C. 418. There are two areas of focus in the process: Technical and Aesthetic.
- Technical: The interagency group, known as the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence Steering Committee, conducts the due diligence for security features that can be used to deter counterfeiting. The ACD consists of representatives from:
- Department of the Treasury
- Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System
- United States Secret Service
- Bureau of Engraving and Printing
- Federal Reserve System's Cash Product Office
An effective counterfeit deterrence program is dependent upon a secure design, law enforcement, and an effective public education program.
- Aesthetic: The Secretary of the Treasury can provide feedback for currency design at any time. Historically, the Secretary has relied on the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) to provide the context for themes, symbols, and concepts to be used not just on currency but for all products produced by the BEP.
How is a new design selected?
As the Secretary of the Treasury considers criteria such as security features and aesthetics, other considerations for this generation of currency include:
- Accessibility: Providing “meaningful access” or a way for the blind and visually impaired community to determine the denomination of notes. e.g. a tactile feature and large high contrast numeral
- Thematic Representation: Maintaining familiar aesthetic characteristics that identify a note as American currency, but update themes and concepts to reflect our inclusive democracy.