The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Controls administers and enforces economic and trade sanctions based on US foreign policy and national security goals against targeted foreign countries and regimes, terrorists, international narcotics traffickers, those engaged in activities related to the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and other threats to the national security, foreign policy or economy of the United States.

OFAC has 26 current sanctions programs, notably Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, and Ukraine-related.

To ensure compliance with OFAC sanctions and other restricted transactions, MIT’s Procurement Department uses specialized export compliance software to check new vendors against about 35 lists of restricted individuals and entities, and rechecks the vendor base on a regular basis to identify changes in status.

MIT’s Accounts Payable Department checks non-vendor payees against the same set of restricted party lists.