The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved by a vote of 3-2 on Wednesday final rules implementing the Whistleblower provisions of Dodd-Frank Act.
The SEC created its Whistleblower office after Dodd-Frank mandated that the SEC pay rewards to individuals who voluntarily provide the Commission with original information that leads to successful SEC enforcement actions and certain related actions.
SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro (left) said Wednesday that “for an agency with limited resources like the SEC, it is critical to be able to leverage the resources of people who may have first-hand information about violations of the securities laws.” While the SEC has a history of receiving a high volume of tips and complaints, she continued, “the quality of the tips we have received has been better since Dodd-Frank became law. We expect this trend to continue, and these final rules map out simplified and transparent procedures for whistleblowers to provide us critical information.”
The SEC says that its new whistleblower program, implemented under Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, is “primarily intended to reward individuals who act early to expose violations and who provide significant evidence that helps the SEC bring successful cases.”
To be considered for an award, the SEC says that its rules require that a whistleblower must voluntarily provide the SEC with original information that leads to the successful enforcement by the SEC of a federal court or administrative action in which the SEC obtains monetary sanctions totaling more than $1 million.
Members of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Capital Markets and Government Sponsored Enterprises recently debated whether the Whistleblower rules enacted under Dodd-Frank would create “unintended consequences” and spark a slew of whistleblowers running to the SEC for financial gain.