Each year, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) provides the U.S. Congress with a report on the SEC whistleblower program. The Commission is required to provide the annual SEC whistleblower report to Congress before October 30 of each year. (15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(g)(5).) In accordance with the Dodd-Frank Act, the Commission provided its 2016 SEC whistleblower report to both the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Financial Services. (See Dodd-Frank Act § 924(d).)
To date, the SEC whistleblower report has usually been titled “Annual Report To Congress On The Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Program” or something similar (the “SEC Whistleblower Report” or “Annual Report”). It is one of the main resources for information and statistics about the SEC whistleblower program.
Types Of Information About The SEC Whistleblower Program That Must Be Included In The Annual Report
In each annual SEC Whistleblower Report, the office in charge of the SEC whistleblower program (the SEC’s Office of the Whistleblower or “OWB”) is required to describe (1) its activities, (2) whistleblower tips, and (3) the SEC’s responses to those whistleblower tips. (Dodd-Frank Act § 924(d).)
The SEC whistleblower statute further explains that each annual SEC Whistleblower Report shall include, among other things, a description of the number of SEC whistleblower awards granted, and the types of cases in which SEC whistleblower awards were granted, during the preceding fiscal year. (15 U.S.C. § 78u-6(g)(5)(A).)
Confidentiality is one of the SEC whistleblower protections, and the SEC takes it seriously, even when reporting to Congress. In describing SEC whistleblower cases and SEC whistleblower awards, the SEC provides Congress with generalized information and aggregated data. (See, e.g., 2016 Annual Report, p. 17.)
Statistics About Awards In The 2016 SEC Whistleblower Report
Naturally, many readers of the annual SEC Whistleblower Reports are looking for information about SEC whistleblower rewards.
According to the 2016 SEC Whistleblower Report, in fiscal year 2016 the SEC granted over $57 million in SEC whistleblower rewards to 13 whistleblowers. Six of the ten largest SEC whistleblower rewards were given out in 2016. Since the SEC whistleblower program began, the SEC has issued more than $111 million in SEC whistleblower rewards. (2016 Annual Report, pp. 1, 10.)
Statistics About Whistleblower Tips In The 2016 SEC Whistleblower Report
The SEC received 4,218 whistleblower tips in fiscal year 2016. (2016 Annual Report, p. 23.) The number of tips that the SEC has received has gone up every fiscal year since the SEC whistleblower program began:
- 2011: 334 tips*
- 2012: 3,001 tips
- 2013: 3,238 tips
- 2014: 3,620 tips
- 2015: 3,923 tips
- 2016: 4,218 tips
*According to the Annual Report, the fiscal year 2011 data is only for 7 weeks, because the SEC whistleblower rules did not become effective until August 12, 2011.
The 2016 SEC Whistleblower Report to Congress contains much more information and statistics about the SEC whistleblower program. If you would like to read more, click on the links below: