Trade Center Disaster Hits Treasury Dept. Hard

The Treasury Department, with multiple offices in the New York World Trade Center complex, was hit hard by the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the twin towers. More than 1,200 employees worked in the Trade Center complex, according to Tony Fratto, a Treasury Department spokesman.

Treasury offices in the complex included the Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service, the Customs Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms.

Even as the department recovers from the attack and works to account for employees, it must also supply operations necessary to meet the country's state of emergency.

According to Deputy Treasury Secretary Ken Dam, who issued a statement Sept. 12, the Secret Service has activated its emergency plan, and the Customs Service is at its highest level of alert. Dam also said the ATF is participating in investigations within the Joint Terrorist Task Forces across the country.

"Treasury is conducting the nation's business. We are processing Social Security checks, we are printing cash, we are minting coins and the [tax] rebate checks will continue to be mailed on schedule," Dam said.

A spokesperson from the Secret Service, which ran a field unit in Building 7, reported no data were lost because the service's computer system is backed up to the Washington offices nightly. "The only thing we're likely to have lost are hard copies of information," said Brian Marr, Secret Service special agent.

Building 7, which collapsed in the afternoon of Sept. 11, also included offices of the Customs Service, the IRS and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Other government agencies in the towers and surrounding complex include the New York and New Jersey Port Authority, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Metro Transportation Council.

The Defense Department also is recovering from damage caused by the terrorist attacks. Officials reported structural damage between corridors 2 and 6 of the Pentagon, where a hijacked aircraft struck that building.

As of press time, fire is working through other parts of the building. Search and rescue operations of the damaged areas of the Pentagon continue.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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