Washington, D.C. December 20, 2010. Today, the National Whistleblowers Center (NWC) publicly released its report to the Securities and Exchange Commission entitled “Impact of Qui Tam Laws on Internal Compliance.” The study analyzed cases filed under the False Claims Act from January 1, 2007 to present and found that whistleblower rewards have “no impact whatsoever on the viability of internal corporate compliance programs or the willingness of employees to report suspected violations to their employers.”
This study was conducted in response to concerns from corporations and the SEC Commissioners about Dodd-Frank’s potential impact on existing corporate compliance programs. It is similar to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine analyzing False Claims Act judgments against the pharmaceutical industry.
Summary of Findings:
- 89.7% of employees who would eventually file a qui tam case initially reported their concerns internally, either to supervisors or compliance departments. (Page 5)
- There was only one case where a compliance official reported directly to the government. (Page 8)
- There are numerous Banking and False Claims Act cases where corporations vigorously argued that employees were not protected from retaliation if their disclosures were made internally. There were no cases in which corporations argued that internal reporting should be protected as a matter of law. (Page 2 & 11)
NWC Executive Director Stephen M. Kohn issued the following statement, “The argument by corporations that Dodd-Frank will destroy internal corporate compliance programs is simply a smoke and mirrors game to get the SEC to implement rules that will discourage employees from blowing the whistle on securities fraud.”NWC Director of Advocacy and Development Lindsey M. Williams stated, “We urge all Americans concerned with corporate fraud to take action by sending their own letter to the Securities and Commodities Commissions demanding that they enact Final Rules that will protect, encourage, and reward whistleblowers.”