The SEC's whistleblower program under Dodd-Frank gets a good bit of media attention, having now issued $55 million in awards to 23 whistleblowers. As I noted here, however, Dodd-Frank quietly required the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to create a whistleblower office, as well, and that office has produced very little in the way of results to date.
As Jean Eaglesham of the WSJ reported yesterday, the CFTC has thus far paid out just two awards totaling $530,000 -- while incurring $4 million in administration costs over the past four years to fund its eight-employee whistleblower unit and a smaller “office of consumer outreach.” As noted by the WSJ, the CFTC's lack of whistleblower awards has prompted the CFTC's Office of the Inspector General to open a "Review." The OIG stated in its most recent Semiannual Report to Congress dated September 30, 2015, that the goal of the review is "to determine the reason, if any, for the limited number of CFTC whistleblower awards compared to the SEC, and to recommend best practices in this area."
While whistleblower attorneys in the private sector told the WSJ that they expect to see "big awards" coming from the CFTC program in the coming years, Christopher Ehrman, head of the CFTC's whistleblower office, simply stated that "the program will continue onward. We’ll get what we get and hope for the best.”
Also of note is the fact that the CFTC managed to score some prime digital real estate for its whistleblower efforts. Despite being dwarfed by other government whistleblower programs, the CFTC somehow obtained the domain name "whistleblower.gov." The WSJ reports that the CFTC's new website located on "whistleblower.gov" launched last month.
[Question: Does anyone out there know how ".gov" domain names are allocated? Is it first-come, first-served among government entities? Or did someone actually decide that it made sense for the CFTC versus some other agency or department to receive "whistleblower.gov?" Please advise!]