A Vital Award Fund that Protects Whistleblowers is at Risk. Congress Must Act.

Today Senator Charles Grassley introduced the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Fund Management Act. Congress must pass this bill and pass it swiftly. Currently, the award fund used to protect and compensate whistleblowers who expose fraud is at risk of being depleted. Allowing the award fund to be depleted poses an existential threat to the functioning and administering of the entire CFTC Whistleblower Program. The CFTC Fund Management Act bolsters the fund and prevents easily avoidable yet disastrous outcomes for whistleblowers. 

Whistleblowers play a decisive role in the CFTC’s anti-fraud enforcement. The CFTC Annual Report states that “between 30 to 40% of the [Enforcement] Division’s ongoing investigations now involve some whistleblower component.” Not only are whistleblowers already a large part of evidence collection and anti-fraud enforcement, but the Division “expects the whistleblower program to continue to grow.” The CFTC whistleblower program has recovered over one billion dollars from criminal and fraudulent activity and paid out over one hundred million dollars in awards to whistleblowers. Because of the immense risks that whistleblowers take to report illegal activity, their compensation and protection must be timely. The CFTC Fund Management Act guarantees this and prevents the depletion of the fund. Without it, delays and an inability to pay awards will cause severe harm to the whistleblowers and threaten the future of the entire program.

Senator Grassley has a track record of working across the aisle to pass strong whistleblower legislation. Americans of all political parties strongly support whistleblower protections. The CFTC Fund Management Act appropriately addresses a highly fixable problem and deserves to garner full bipartisan support. Congress has nothing standing in its way to pass this legislation. It must do so immediately. The efficacy of the CFTC Whistleblower Program and its proven protection of the whistleblowers who uphold it is at stake. 

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