Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bi-partisan bill that will effectively save the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Whistleblower Program by modifying the Consumer Protection Fund. The bill will ensure that the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office can continue to function. The bill will not go to the House for approval.
The CFTC Whistleblower Office had previously been on the verge of collapse as a limit on the amount of money that can be deposited into the CFTC’s Consumer Protection Fund, the lone source for rewarding whistleblowers and operating the Whistleblower Office, was running out of money.
The deficit was created because the fund has strict limits, and the CFTC program is now among the most successful and well managed whistleblower programs in the United States.
After seeing unanticipated success since its inception, the program was overextended and in dire need of Congressional intervention.
The bi-partisan bill was sponsored by Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), and co-sponsored by Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA), among others.
According to the bill, the CFTC must create a separate $10 million “account” that will be used to fund the administrative, programmatic, and personnel expenses of the whistleblower program.
“This is a major victory for whistleblowers everywhere,” said whistleblower attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto. “For over a year, the whistleblowing community has called for emergency congressional action to save the CFTC program. Senate passage was a critical step to amending the Commodity Exchange Act based on the success of the program.”
Kohn, who also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Whistleblower Center, added, “Both Senators Stabenow and Grassley deserve the thanks of the American people for working together to make sure that this invaluable whistleblower program, designed to detect frauds in the commodities markets, continues to function. Whistleblowers deserve support, and they just got it from the Senate.”