Since 2014, the Program Has Collected $3 Billion in Fines Thanks to Whistleblowers’ Help Rooting Out Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
WASHINGTON – Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced bipartisan legislation to make permanent a whistleblower program at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that rewards individuals who help root out waste, fraud, and abuse. The Senators were able to save this successful program in 2021 by passing a law to temporarily increase whistleblower rewards — and in turn save more money. Since then, the fund has collected $400 million in fines, and overall the fund has collected $3 billion in fines since first starting in 2014.
“When whistleblowers bravely step forward, they are risking their careers in order to prevent wrongdoing and save taxpayer dollars,” said Senator Hassan. “It is vital that this fund for whistleblowers remains available in the future to continue saving billions of dollars. I am glad that Senator Grassley and I were able to temporarily continue this program for the past two years, and I urge my colleagues to support this bill that will make this fund permanent.”
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. Operating expenses and educational initiatives are also paid out of the fund. Any fines collected after the account reaches its cap go to the Department of Treasury’s general fund.
In 2021, the fund was at risk of being completely depleted, so Senators Hassan and Grassley passed into law a bill to temporarily raise the amount of funds that could go into the program and to create a separate account to house funds used to pay operating and programming expenses – thus ensuring that the program can continue to exist. However, those provisions are set to expire this September, which is why Senators Hassan and Grassley introduced legislation today to again raise the cap and make the fund permanent.
Senator Hassan has focused on fiscal responsibility and cutting waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars in the federal government. As chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee, Senator Hassan was named a “Fiscal Hero” by Fix the Debt, a project of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, as well as the “Most Bipartisan Senator” by the nonpartisan Lugar Center. She has also previously introduced bipartisan legislation to save taxpayer dollars and cut waste by eliminating duplicative government programs based on Government Accountability Office recommendations.