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Get to Know the CFTC: The Whistleblower Office

Posted by CFTC Staff /
whistleblower program

Smart investors know to learn the ways federal regulators assist the public. 'Get to Know the CFTC' is an ongoing series on SmartCheck.gov, providing consumers with information on different offices and divisions of the CFTC directly from the source. Today's is the CFTC Whistleblower Office. In addition to being a relatively new office at the CFTC, the Whistleblower Office is very consumer-friendly. The Whistleblower staff has answered some questions for SmartCheck below that will give consumers more information on how the CFTC benefits consumers.

1. What does the Whistleblower Office do?

The Whistleblower Office ("WBO") administers the Whistleblower Program that was created by the Dodd-Frank Act. Specifically, the WBO facilitates the receiving of tips and complaints from whistleblowers regarding potential violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and implements the process of granting awards to eligible whistleblowers who provide original information that leads to a successful enforcement action. The Whistleblower Program also provides anti-retaliation protections for whistleblowers. The WBO is part of the Division of Enforcement and is a conduit for whistleblower tips and complaints to the Division of Enforcement.

2. How does the Whistleblower Program further the CFTC Mission to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets, to avoid systemic risk, and to protect the market users and their funds, consumers, and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act?

The Whistleblower Program furthers the CFTC mission by providing additional sources of information on fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act. The incentives and protections provided by the Whistleblower Program are intended to encourage individuals who have knowledge of potential misconduct to voluntarily report the misconduct. The incentives are cash awards available to eligible whistleblowers who voluntarily provide information that leads to a successful enforcement action. In addition, the Whistleblower Program provides protections through anti-retaliation provisions and requirements to keep the identity of individuals as whistleblowers confidential except under certain limited circumstances. Whistleblowers have the potential to provide information of potential misconduct that it could be difficult for the Commission to learn about through other means and would aid the Division of Enforcement's investigations and enforcement actions against fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices.

3. What do you want consumers to know about your division?

As it is a new program, we want consumers to know that the Whistleblower Program provides for cash awards to eligible whistleblowers whose voluntarily information leads to a successful enforcement action, either judgment in litigation or a settlement when there are monetary sanctions over $1,000,000. We are happy to answer questions about the program and have both a whistleblower hotline (1 (866)873-5675) and email address (whistleblower@cftc.gov) for consumer to use to contact us. We also have responses to frequently asked questions on the Whistleblower Program page of the CFTC website. Tips and complaints can be submitted through filing a Form TCR via the website, mail or fax. Individuals may submit tips and complaints anonymously and by statute, we are required to keep information that could identify an individual as a whistleblower confidential except under certain limited circumstances.

4. What is a Whistleblower?

As defined in statute and in regulation, a whistleblower is an individual (or group of individuals acting jointly), who has knowledge of a potential violation of the Commodity Exchange Act and alerts the CFTC by filing a Form TCR through the electronic portal on the Commission's website, mail or facsimile. See section 23(a)(7) of the Commodity Exchange Act and Rules 165.2(p) and 165.3 (17 C.F.R. ยงยง 165.2(p), 165.3.

5. Where can consumers find more information about your work or file a form TCR?

Information about the Whistleblower Program is available online at the CFTC website under the Consumer Protection pull down menu, http://www.cftc.gov/ConsumerProtection/WhistleblowerProgram/index.htm. The website has a link to submit a Form TCR electronically through the portal; copies of the Form TCR for submission via mail or fax; copies of the statute and Whistleblower Rules; information and forms about submitting an application to claim an award; notices of covered actions that meet the criteria for an award to paid; responses to frequently asked questions; and other resources and information.

The information appearing on CFTC SmartCheck is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice to any individual or entity. We urge you to consult with your own legal advisor before taking any action based on information appearing on this site or any site to which it may be linked.

Reference in this site to any specific commercial product, process, or service, or the use of any trade, firm or corporation name is for the information and convenience of the public, and does not constitute endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by CFTC SmartCheck.

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