WASHINGTON – The Senate unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) joined Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and others in introducing to preserve a whistleblower program that is in danger of being depleted due to its own success. The bipartisan CFTC Fund Management Act ensures that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) program that provides monetary rewards for whistleblowers can continue to operate without needing to spend a single taxpayer dollar by creating a separate account should the work of whistleblowers continue past the allocated cap for the initial program. The bill now heads to the House for consideration.
“Whistleblowers sound the alarm on waste, fraud, and abuse in the federal government, and it is essential that we can preserve the incentives that encourage whistleblowers to speak out,” Senator Hassan said. “I am glad that the Senate voted unanimously and across party lines to advance this commonsense legislation to reward whistleblowers who bravely come forward to expose wrongdoing and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.”
The Customer Protection Fund was established in 2010 to reward whistleblowers for calling attention to wrongdoing that results in CFTC fines. It is funded from CFTC monetary collections resulting from whistleblower disclosures and is 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 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.