The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is looking to escalate its enforcement efforts with recently proposed amendments to its whistleblower rules.
The move comes as the Securities and Exchange Commission’s whistleblower bounty program surpassed the $100 million mark with its second-largest award, more than $22 million. Enforcement actions from whistleblower tips have resulted in more than $500 million in financial remedies, the SEC says. Its whistleblower program was established by Congress to incentivize “whistleblowers with specific, timely and credible information about federal securities laws violations.”
In April, the CFTC announced its largest whistleblower award to date, more than $10 million to a tipster who provided "key original information that led to a successful enforcement action." The agency, to protect the confidentiality of whistleblowers, does not disclose any identifying information.
The CFTC’s amendments would enhance its process for reviewing whistleblower claims and make related changes to clarify staff authority to administer the whistleblower program. The proposal will also strengthen the Commission’s anti-retaliation authority to provide whistleblowers protection from retaliation with enforcement actions under the Commodity Exchange Act.
The plan also calls for making changes to other key areas, including: eligibility requirements; award claims review; contents of record for award determinations; whistleblower identifying information; and improper employer confidentiality provisions.
The proposed amendments would clarify the CFTC’s position on awards for related actions, replace the Whistleblower Award Determination Panel with a Claims Review Staff, and provide it with the opportunity to review Proposed Final Determinations.
Public comments on the proposal must be submitted on or before Sept. 29.