WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden signed into law bipartisan legislation, which Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) helped introduce, to preserve a whistleblower program that provides rewards to individuals who help root out waste, fraud and abuse. The bipartisan CFTC Fund Management Act will ensure that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) program that provides monetary rewards for whistleblowers can continue to operate - without spending any taxpayer dollars. The program had been in danger of being depleted due to its own success.
“We must always look for ways to identify and root out waste, fraud, and abuse of federal funds – and the CFTC program incentivizes whistleblowers to come forward when they see this wrongdoing,” Senator Hassan said. “I am glad that the President signed into law my bipartisan legislation to preserve the reward fund for whistleblowers that was at risk of becoming depleted, which will help ensure that these individuals continue to speak out.”
The CFTC’s Customer Protection Fund was established in 2010 to reward whistleblowers for calling attention to wrongdoing that results in CFTC fines. It is funded from fines that result from whistleblower disclosures and was capped at $100 million. Operating expenses and educational initiatives are also paid out of the fund rather than taxpayer-funded appropriations. Any fines collected after the account reaches its cap are remitted to the Treasury general fund.
Senator Hassan’s legislation raises the fund cap to $150 million and temporarily establishes a separate account to house funds used to pay operating and programming expenses. The creation of a separate account guarantees that the office will be able to continue operations should the overall amount held in the Customer Protection Fund drop to a critical level.
Senator Hassan is working across the aisle to root out waste, fraud, and abuse and strengthen whistleblower protections. The government funding bill that was passed into law last year included bipartisan bills that Senator Hassan helped lead to strengthen government accountability by expanding whistleblower protections and authorizing the Oversight.gov website. Senator Hassan also recently questioned Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) officials, where she pressed a VA official on how he would work to change how the VA handles whistleblower claims following whistleblower allegations at the White River Junction VA Medical Center.