Statement on Final Amendments to the Whistleblower Program
Aug. 26, 2022
Today, the Commission voted to adopt amendments to rules governing the SEC’s whistleblower program. I was pleased to support these amendments because they will help whistleblowers when eligible to receive appropriate awards for reporting potential violations of the law to the Commission.
In 2010, Congress under the Dodd-Frank Act directed the SEC to establish a whistleblower program, which to date has greatly aided the Commission’s work to protect investors. In the years since the program was established, the SEC has used whistleblower information to obtain sanctions of over $5 billion from securities law violators, return over $1.3 billion to harmed investors, and award over $1.3 billion to whistleblowers for their service.
Today’s amendments enact two changes to help enhance the whistleblower program.
The first amendment expands the circumstances in which a whistleblower who assisted in a related action can receive an award from the Commission for that related action rather than from the other agency’s whistleblower program.
The second amendment concerns the Commission’s authority to consider and adjust the dollar amount of a potential award. Under today’s amendments, when the Commission considers the size of the would-be award as grounds to change the award amount, it can do so only to increase the award, and not to decrease it. This will give whistleblowers additional comfort knowing that the Commission would not decrease awards based on their size.
The Commission benefitted greatly from public comment on the proposal, and I thank the commenters who weighed in. In response to public comment, the Commission selected the comparability approach over other approaches laid out in the proposal for the related-action rule.
I think that these rules will strengthen our whistleblower program. That helps protect investors.
I’d like to thank the staff for their diligent work in preparing these final rules, including:
- Cree Kelly, Emily Pasquinelli, Lisa Wardlaw, and Rebecca Franciscus from the Office of the Whistleblower;
- Michael Conley, Laura Jarsulic, Lisa Helvin, William (Brooks) Shirey, and Hannah Riedel in the Office of the General Counsel; and
- Jessica Wachter, Chyhe Becker, Lauren Moore, Andrew Glickman, and Donald Edmond in the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis.