(HedgeCo.Net) The Securities and Exchange Commission today voted to propose amendments to the rules governing its whistleblower program. The whistleblower program was established in 2010 to incentivize individuals to report high-quality tips to the Commission and help the agency detect wrongdoing and better protect investors and the marketplace.
The Commission’s whistleblower program has made significant contributions to the effectiveness of the agency’s enforcement of the federal securities laws. Original information provided by whistleblowers has led to enforcement actions in which the Commission has ordered over $1.4 billion in financial remedies, including more than $740 million in disgorgement of ill-gotten gains and interest, the majority of which has been, or is scheduled to be, returned to harmed investors.
After nearly seven years of experience administering the whistleblower program, the SEC has identified various ways in which the program might benefit from additional rulemaking. The proposed rules would, among other things, provide the Commission with additional tools in making whistleblower awards to ensure that meritorious whistleblowers are appropriately rewarded for their efforts, increase efficiencies in the whistleblower claims review process, and clarify the requirements for anti-retaliation protection under the whistleblower statute.
“Whistleblowers have made significant contributions to the SEC’s enforcement efforts, and the value of our whistleblower program is clear,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. “The proposed rules are intended to help strengthen the whistleblower program by bolstering the Commission’s ability to more appropriately and expeditiously reward those who provide critical information that leads to successful enforcement actions. I look forward to public feedback and encourage everyone with an interest to give us their ideas on the proposed rules.”
The public comment period will remain open for 60 days following publication of the proposing release in the Federal Register.