– The House of Representatives today passed bipartisan legislation
authored by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) to preserve a whistleblower program in
danger of collapsing under its own success. The CFTC Fund Management Act
(S. 409) ensures
that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s whistleblower program can
continue to function even when awards obligated to whistleblowers exceed the
program fund’s balance at the time of distribution. The bill, which carries no
cost to taxpayers, is also cosponsored by Sens. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Joni
Ernst (R-Iowa), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine), and
unanimously passed the Senate in May.
CFTC whistleblower program has become far more successful than Congress
imagined when we set it up back in 2010. Some awards distributed to
whistleblowers have grown to the point that they risk wiping out the award fund
before it can be replenished, sidelining program staff and operations in the
process. We can’t allow this program to become a victim of its own success.
Congress’ broad bipartisan support for this bill demonstrates just how
important this program is and President Biden should sign it into law right
away,” Grassley said.
Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) relies on whistleblower
disclosures to identify cases of fraud and other illegal activities, and
collect fines on behalf of the American people. The CFTC’s Customer Protection
Fund, established by Congress in 2010, is funded through those fines, and used
to reward whistleblowers for their disclosures. That fund is also used to pay
for operating expenses and educational initiatives associated with the
whistleblower office. Under current law, the Customer Protection Fund is capped
at $100 million, and any fines collected after the account reaches the cap are
remitted to the Treasury’s general fund. In recent years, the increasing size
and quantity of fines stemming from successful whistleblower disclosures have
led to larger reward disbursements, which risk depleting the fund before it can
Fund Management Act, as amended by
the Senate, temporarily establishes a separate account at the U.S.
Treasury to house funds used to pay operating and programming expenses. The
creation of a separate account guarantees that the office will be able to continue
operations should the overall amount held in the Customer Protection Fund drop
to a critical level.