Established by the American Indian Trust Fund Management Reform Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-412), OST was created to improve the accountability and management of Indian funds held in trust by the federal government. As trustee, DOI has the primary fiduciary responsibility to manage both tribal trust funds and Individual Indian Money (IIM) accounts.

The purpose of OST is to provide oversight, reform and coordination of the policies, procedures, systems and practices used by various agencies to manage Indian trust assets. This effort is integrally related to DOI's goal of meeting its responsibilities to American Indians.

OST carries out its mission in pursuit of the following three goals:

  1. To protect and preserve Indian trust assets by receipting and accurately accounting for income due to beneficiaries;
  2. To provide all tribal and IIM account holders with information on their trust accounts that is timely and accurate; and
  3. To engage beneficiaries in the management of their trust assets to allow them to make informed decisions.