Statement of Commissioner Piwowar at Open Meeting Regarding Amendments to the Commission’s Whistleblower Program Rules
June 28, 2018
Throughout my tenure, I have been an outspoken advocate of retrospective review of Commission rules. It is a fundamental best practice of good government to observe carefully how our regulations work—not just in the mind’s eye of the rule-makers—but in the real world. Then, armed with the wisdom of observation and experience, we can propose thoughtful improvements to our rules that help advance the Commission’s essential work. The proposed amendments to our whistleblower rules before the Commission today are a sterling example of this approach.
Since the Commission first adopted rules implementing the whistleblower program in May 2011, we have received over 22,000 whistleblower tips, obtained over $1.4 billion in financial remedies related to those tips, and ordered over $266 million in whistleblower awards to 55 individuals. These are impressive numbers, and reflect both the dedicated work of our staff in the Office of the Whistleblower and Division of Enforcement, and the quality of tips provided by individuals willing to step forward with their information. Each of these whistleblowers provided the Commission with valuable information and often extensive assistance that enabled us to bring successful enforcement actions in cases that we might not have uncovered on our own. As we consider changes to our whistleblower rules today, we can all be proud of the whistleblower program’s accomplishments to this date.
As the statistics I just mentioned reflect, the last seven years have given us a great deal of experience with the operation of our whistleblower rules. I am pleased to see that we are using that experience to inform the current proposal. The changes that we are proposing are incremental, but meaningful, and I think they will incentivize helpful whistleblower activity while increasing the efficiency of the SEC’s whistleblower program—and adding clarity as well.
I am confident we will get constructive comments on each of the suggested modifications in the proposal.
I would like to thank the Office of General Counsel, and the Office of the Whistleblower, for their fine work on this proposal. I am happy to support it.
Thank you. I have no questions.