The SEC’s Annual Report To Congress On Its Whistleblower Award ProgramEvery year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) is required to provide a written report to the U.S. Congress about its whistleblower award program (“Annual Report”). Typically, the SEC provides the Annual Report to Congress by the end of October, and releases a copy of the Annual Report publicly in November. For technical details about the SEC’s Annual Report and some of the things that it is required to contain, see here. The Annual Report usually begins with an opening Message from the Chief of the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower (“OWB”). This opening Message sometimes contains informative public statements about the SEC’s whistleblower award program. For example, in the opening Message to the 2018 Annual Report, the Chief of the OWB called 2018 “a record-breaking year” for the SEC whistleblower award program. Sometimes the SEC Chairman, one or more SEC Commissioners, or other SEC officials may comment publicly about the release of the Annual Report or about some of the information that it contains regarding the whistleblower award program. Such was the case in 2019.
The SEC Whistleblower Award Program Reached A “Momentous Milestone” In 2019In 2019, the amount of money that the SEC has collected from wrongdoers with the assistance of whistleblowers surpassed $2 billion. In her opening Message, the Chief of the SEC’s OWB called this “a momentous milestone”. (2019 Annual Report, p. 1.) According to the OWB Chief, the SEC’s whistleblower award program:
Continues to have a significant positive impact on the Commission’s enforcement efforts and protection of investors and markets, including assisting the Commission with actions that resulted in the return of hundreds of millions of dollars to harmed investors, many being Main Street investors, as a result of whistleblower tips. (2019 Annual Report, p. 2.)The opening Message also mentioned several large whistleblower awards that the SEC gave out during 2018 and 2019, including a $37 million award in 2019. The Chief’s Message then explained:
While all awards are important to the Commission and to whistleblowers, these larger awards reflect the significance of the information that whistleblowers are providing to the Commission and are testaments to the whistleblower program’s success. (2019 Annual Report, p.1.)The OWB Chief also stated that the SEC continues “to take pride in the whistleblower program’s contributions to the protection of markets and investors”. (2019 Annual Report, p. 1.)
The SEC Chairman Called The Whistleblower Award Program “Invaluable”On the same day that the 2019 Annual Report was released publicly, the Chairman of the SEC issued a public statement about it. In the Chairman’s statement, he declared that the SEC’s whistleblower award program “has proven to be an invaluable component of our enforcement efforts”.
Additional InformationFor additional information about the SEC’s 2019 Annual Report to Congress, click on the links below:
- The SEC’s 2019 Annual Report. (External link to the SEC’s website.)
- The SEC Chairman’s public statement about the 2019 Annual Report. (External link to the SEC’s website.)
- Article about the 2019 Annual Report’s explanation of what past SEC whistleblower award winners have in common. (Note: external link to The Pickholz Law Offices website.)