The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed two amendments to its whistleblower program. Specifically, the proposed amendment would allow the Commission to pay whistleblower awards for certain actions brought by other entities, including designated federal agencies, in cases where those awards might otherwise be paid under the other entity’s whistleblower program. The second affirms the Commission’s authority to consider the dollar amount of a potential award for the limited purpose of increasing an award but not to lower an award.
These amendments, if adopted, would help ensure that whistleblowers are both incentivized and appropriately rewarded for their efforts in reporting potential violations of the law to the CommissionSEC Chair Gary Gensler
The first proposed rule change is designed to ensure that a whistleblower is not disadvantaged by another whistleblower program that would not give them as high an award as the SEC would offer. Under the second proposed rule change, the SEC could consider the dollar amounts of potential awards only to increase the whistleblower’s award. This would give whistleblowers additional comfort knowing that the SEC could consider the dollar amount of the award only in such cases.
The public comment period will remain open for 60 days following publication of the proposing release on the SEC’s website or 30 days following publication of the proposing release in the Federal Register, whichever period is longer.