Skip to main content

Statement in Connection with the SEC’s Whistleblower Program

Aug. 2, 2021

In September 2020, the Commission adopted amendments to the SEC’s whistleblower program rules.[1] Various members of the whistleblower community, as well as Commissioners Lee and Crenshaw, have expressed concern that two of these amendments could discourage whistleblowers from coming forward. One of these amendments[2] would preclude the Commission in some instances from making an award in related enforcement actions brought by other law-enforcement and regulatory authorities if a second, alternative whistleblower award program might also apply to the action. The second amendment[3] could be used by a future Commission to lower an award because of the size of the award in absolute terms.

I have directed the staff to prepare for the Commission’s consideration later this year potential revisions to these two rules that would address the concerns that these recent amendments would discourage whistleblowers from coming forward. In particular, the staff is considering whether our rules should be revised to permit the Commission to make awards for related actions that might otherwise be covered by an alternative whistleblower program that is not comparable to the SEC’s own program, and to clarify that the Commission will not lower an award based on its dollar amount.


[1] Amendment was made to Rule 21F-3(b)(3). See Commission Adopting Release for Whistleblower Program Rules, 85 Fed. Reg. 70,898 (published in the Federal Register on November 11, 2020).

[2] Amendment was made to Rule 21F-6. See 17 CFR § 240.21F-3(b)(3).

[3] 17 CFR § 240.21F-6.

Return to Top