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Timeline of U.S. Treasury Auctions

Year Event
1947 April 25, 1947: Noncompetitive bidders given the weighted average price of accepted competitive tenders.
1960 Began offering holders of specified outstanding Treasury coupon securities the opportunity to exchange for longer-dated Treasury securities in fixed price advance refunding made possible by tax advance refunding as a nontaxable exchange.
1974 The uniform price or "Dutch" auction technique was introduced for sales of long-term securities. All successful bidders were awarded securities at the lowest accepted price.
1974 The yield auction technique was introduced for some coupon securities in which the coupon and price are determined based on accepted yields in the auction. This technique later became applicable to all Treasury coupon and bill auctions.
1975 The ban was removed from pre-auction trading of marketable Treasury securities. The ban had been in effect since World War II.
1976 Began working towards issuing all Treasury securities in book-entry form, and by mid-1986, new coupon securities were available only in book-entry form.
1977 Banned pre-auction trading of Treasury securities.
1979 Modified the limit on auction awards to any one bidder instituted in 1962 to 25 percent of the total awards for investors other than the Federal Reserve and foreign accounts held in custody by the Federal Reserve. Previously the limit was one quarter of the total offered.
1981 The limit on awards to any one bidder in an auction was increased from 25 percent to 35 percent of securities sold to the public (excluding Federal Reserve Banks for their own and official foreign custody accounts).
1982 The yield auction technique was adopted for auctions of reopened coupon securities, replacing the use of price auctions.
1982 Noncompetitive tender rules were clarified to restrict a noncompetitive bidder from entering into a contract prior to the closing time for receipt of tenders to dispose of securities obtained on a noncompetitive basis.
1983 Pre-auction trading of securities awarded on a noncompetitive basis was banned.
1984 The deadline for receipt of tenders in all security auctions was changed from 1:30p.m. ET to 1:00p.m. ET.
1984 Guidelines for noncompetitive tenders in an auction were clarified to define what comprises a single bidder.
1985 Treasury published proposed regulations under which new marketable Treasury securities are available only in book-entry form (TREASURY DIRECT for institutions and individuals who do not plan to trade them) and in the commercial book-entry system (TRADES). Holders of coupon securities issued prior to full conversion continue to be able to choose either book-entry or physical form.
1986 The TREASURY DIRECT book-entry securities system was implemented. All new issues of marketable notes and bonds were henceforward issued exclusively in book-entry form.
1987 The Coupons Under Book-entry Safekeeping (CUBES) program was successfully conducted. CUBES provided depository institutions a one-time opportunity to convert coupons stripped from definitive Treasury securities to book-entry form. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York was the central processing site.
1990 The amount that Treasury will recognize as having been bid in marketable securities auctions at any one yield was limited to 35% of the public offering amount.
1990 The deadline for receipt of noncompetitive tenders in marketable securities auctions was changed to 12:00 p.m. ET.
1991 A standard release time of 2:30 p.m. ET, was established for all announcements of regularly scheduled bill, note, and bond issues.
1991 Data on Treasury quarterly borrowing needs now released two days prior to each quarterly refunding announcement and prior to the the Public Securities Association (PSA) Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee Meeting.
1991  All government securities brokers and dealers registered with the SEC became eligible to submit bids for customers in Treasury auctions. Such dealers also became eligible to pay for securities via an "autocharge" agreement with a depository institution.
1992 The net long position reporting requirement was changed to state that a competitive bidder must report its net long position in the security being offered when the total of all its bids for that security and the bidder's net long position in the security equals or exceeds $2 billion, unless otherwise announced.
1992 Competitive bidders were prohibited from submitting a noncompetitive bid in the same auction.
1992 Bidders with any position in when-issued trading or in futures or forward contracts in a security being auctioned were prohibited from submitting noncompetitive bids for that security.
1992 Customers awarded $500 million or more in an auction were required to furnish, no later than 10:00 a.m. local time the day following the auction, written confirmation of their bids to the FRB where the bids were submitted.
1992 September 21, 1992: Public Debt successfully implements Public Debt Accounting and Reporting System (PARS).
1993 Fedline TA implemented. Fedline TA provided approximately 1,000 Federal Reserve FedLine customers with the ability to submit bids electronically over FedLine. Bids printed out at the Federal Reserve Banks (FRBs), were aggregated, and resubmitted to Treasury. No Primary Dealers were involved.
1993 March 1, 1993: The Uniform Offering Circular (UOC) became effective. The circular consolidated into one document the terms and conditions for the sale of marketable Treasury securities which previously were found in a variety of documents.
1993 Announcement of Treasury auction results on a regional or Federal Reserve District basis was discontinued. Previously, the amounts tendered and awarded had been broken out by Federal Reserve districts on the auction results. This change in procedure was made because regional auction award information has little value in the worldwide U.S. Government securities market. It also eliminated a step in processing auction award information for release to the public, and may, therefore, have a slight benefit in shortening the time between the deadline for the receipt of tenders and the announcement of the auction results.
1993 The first auction using the Treasury Automated Auction Processing System (TAAPS) was April 29, 1993 with the 52-week auction.
1993 Public Debt reopened Coupons Under Book-Entry Safekeeping (CUBES) program from June 1-November 30, 1993. Only noncallable Treasury coupons stripped before March 31, 1993, and with payment dates on or after January 1, 1994 were eligible for conversion.
1993 December 17, 1993: The "Government Securities Act Amendments of 1993" was signed providing Annual Reports to Congress on Auction Violations and Favored Treatment.
1995 February 22, 1995: The required number of decimals for competitive bids in note and bond auctions was changed from two to three, e.g. 7.123%.  The purpose was to increase participation in Treasury auctions and conform the auctions to market practice for when-issued trading. The Committee felt that smaller bidding increments might induce some market participants to bid more aggressively, with potential for modest savings to Treasury.
1995 March 1995: Auction results began printing automatically to the Main Treasury press room. The fax of the results was initiated by a fax application on the auction calculation PC.
1995 May 5, 1995: The responsibility for administering Treasury's auction rules in the UOC for the Sale and Issue of Treasury bills, notes, and bonds was transferred to the Government Securities Regulations Staff (GSRS) from the Office of Financing.
1995 December 1995: TAAPS Version 2 implemented - tenders to be sent to two mainframes for dual processing.
1997 January 29, 1997: The first inflation-indexed security auction was held. The security was a 10-year note. The issuance schedule for inflation indexed securities was announced: the 15th of January, April, July and October.
1997 March 1997: Treatment of bill auction awards to the System Open Market Account (SOMA) was changed from being within the announced offering amount to being additions to the announced offering amount. This change was made so that Treasury would be able to provide better information to the market on the amount of bills that will actually be available for sale to the public.
1997 April 1997 : TAAPS Version 3 -- Enhancement implemented to provide automated calculations of auction results and create press reports.
1997 July 16, 1997: The UOC amended to define the term “Investment Advisor” and to clarify the specific terms and conditions for bidding through investment advisors. The most significant change was the reduction in the net long position reporting amount from $500 million to $100 million. 
1998 Change was made to the UOC to change the rule restricting Noncompetitive bidders from holding a When-Issued (WI) position, futures or forward contracts for a security they will be bidding on. The change affects the timeframe of the restriction on Noncompetitive bidders. Specifically, the amendment states that between the date of the offering announcement and the time of the official results release, a Noncompetitive bidder may not enter into any re-openings, forward or futures contracts for that auction.
1998 April 1998: TAAPSLink, a browser based application, was implemented for submitting tenders via the Internet. This application was first used to submit noncompetitive tenders and was extended to competitive tenders in 1999.
1998 July 1998: Began posting all Treasury announcements and auction results press releases on the Public Debt website.
1999 March 1999: Auction results began breaking out how much of the auction was taken down by Treasury Direct.
1999 June 1999: First online submission of noncompetitive customer list into an auction through the Automated Auction Customer List (AACL) application.
1999 Regulations for buying back unmatured debt were finalized.
2000 Constraints on Treasury's ability to reopen securities from original issue discount rules were lifted, as long as the reopening occurs within a year of the original issuance.
2000 March 10, 2000: Treasury held first buyback operation. Buybacks were a result of the budget surplus in the late 1990’s. Buybacks functioned as “reverse auctions” where the Treasury bought back securities to reduce the amount of interest paid.
2001 Treasury began issuing 52-week securities every 13 weeks. Previously 52-week securities were issued every 4 weeks.
2001 Confirmed 5-year note issuance was changed. Original issues were offered in May and November and were later reopened in August and February
2001 February: 52-week security eliminated after the February 27 auction.
2001 February 2001: Foreign and International Monetary Authority (FIMA)  bids were limited to non-competitive bids of no more than $200 million per account per auction. Additionally, total noncompetitive FIMA bids were limited to $1 billion per auction per security.
2001 March 2001: Minimums and multiples for stripping all fixed-principal securities were reduced to $1,000 par amount. This eliminated the high dollar par amounts previously required to strip certain securities.
2001 April 2001: A new TAAPS upgrade made the auction process fully automated from bid to issue.  Changes to the system included sending award notifications to all customers, issuing and accounting for securities to the commercial submitters, and providing reports online.
2001 April 2001: Allocation percentage for auction awards changed to two decimal places and rounded up to the next hundredth of a percentage point. Previously, allocation percentage was rounded up to the next full percentage point.
2001 November 2001: Net Long Reporting (NLP) Exclusion amount introduced. The NLP Rule was changed to allow bidders to subtract an exclusion amount from their holdings of a security being offered (applies to reopened securities only).
2002 January 2002: FIMA account limits were changed to accept more than $100 million per account per auction. The aggregate award amount of $1 billion remained unchanged. Previously, FIMA entities were permitted to bid non-competitively without award limitations. FIMA awards were then added on to total issue amount at each auction.
2002 April 2002: The number of decimals for discount rates submitted in cash management bill auctions increased from two to three.
2002 May 2002: Auction release time target changed from 6 to 5 minutes. Any deviations above 60 seconds + or - that time were explained to the public by Treasury.
2003 January 2003: Auction results began being delivered to the Federal Reserve Information Technology (FRIT) server as an XML file. After the implementation, the official auction release time was considered the recorded time the results XML file was delivered to the FRIT server.
2003 February 2003: Regular re-openings of 5-year notes reintroduced. Original issue auctions would take place every quarter and the re-openings would take place one month afterwards.
2003 May 2003: Treasury began releasing an addendum (Additional Auction Statistics) to the auction results breaking out the types of competitive bids into three categories: Direct bidders, indirect bidders and Primary Dealers. This addendum was published approximately 20 minutes after the auction results release.
2003 December 2003: Net Long Reporting Threshold changed to 35% of the offering amount. Previously, the threshold had been $1 billion for bills and $2 billion for notes
2004 April 2004:  Internet posting of auction results PDF was completely automated with the implementation of ConnectDirect. ConnectDirect removed manual processing of the PDF file and reduced the risk of human error in the posting process.
2004 August 2004: Treasury began releasing auction results within 2 minutes + or - 30 seconds.
2004 September 2004: The calculated auction price for Treasury securities was changed from 3 decimal places to 6 decimal places.
2004 September 2004: The noncompetitive award limit was changed from $1 million to $5 million.
2004 September 2004: Additional Auction Statistics became available to the press at the same time auction results were released.
2004 September 2004: Zero fill on bids implemented. In the event a submitter enters a bid with too few decimals, the system will automatically fill the missing decimal places with a zero. For example, 3.1 would become 3.100.
2004 December 2004: Treasury began releasing CUSIP information prior to the offering announcements. The release was published every Friday and contained CUSIP numbers, security term and type as well as issue date, auction date and announcement date for all securities set to be announced the following week.
2005 July 2005: Automated auction results emails implemented. Individuals signed up to receive auction email notifications began to receive emails created and sent automatically. Previously, emails were sent to the listserv manually and contained a hyperlink to the auction results. The new automated emails contained a link to the press release as well as summary auction statistics in the body of the email itself.
2006 March 2006: Public Debt participated in Treasury’s first repurchase transaction using temporary excess funds. The repo matured the following day with an earnings rate of 4.69%.
2008 April 2008: Bidding minimum lowered from $1,000 to $100 for all securities.
2008 April 2008: First auction in the new TAAPS system. This system was the first completely web-based auction application.
2008 December 2008: Customer confirmation threshold changed from $500 million to $750 million. With this rule change confirmations are sent by email. Customer confirmations were required of any customer awarded $750 million or more who bid in the auction through another institution.