WASHINGTON, D.C. | May 28, 2021 — Today, the U.S. Senate passed an emergency legislative amendment (S.409) to modify the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Customer Protection Fund, in order to allow the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office to continue to operate. This bipartisan amendment was passed with the unanimous consent of all U.S. Senators, and will now go to the U.S. House of Representatives for final approval.
National Whistleblower Center (NWC) Executive Director Siri Nelson said, “This is a major victory for whistleblowers and a fantastic example of a creative fix to a pressing problem. Now it is up to the House to quickly do the right thing for whistleblowers and pass this bill as well.”
The Customer Protection Fund, used to pay whistleblowers and help operate the CFTC’s Whistleblower Office, was nearing depletion due to the success of the CFTC’s whistleblower program and the payment of awards to a growing number of highly qualified whistleblowers.
“This bill prevents the CFTC Whistleblower Office from shutting down,” said Stephen M. Kohn, a whistleblower attorney and the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NWC. “It is now imperative that the House of Representatives does its job and immediately pass this critical anti-corruption law. The staff of the CFTC have been highly professional, and the agency is involved in investigating worldwide corruption in the commodities markets, including corruption in the oil industries,” Kohn added.
If signed into law, the legislation would prevent the CFTC Whistleblower Office from shutting down and provide for a separate account that would ensure that the CFTC’s administrative costs are no longer being taken out of the Customer Protection Fund.
“We are extremely thankful that leading members of the U.S. Senate, including Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and John Boozman (R-AR) were able to work together and pass this essential whistleblower protection law,” continued NWC Executive Director Siri Nelson. Other members of the Senate who played a critical role in passing the law were Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Joni Ernst (R-IA), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME).