7 U.S. Code § 26 - Commodity whistleblower incentives and protection
In this section:
(1) Covered judicial or administrative action
The term “covered judicial or administrative action” means any judicial or administrative action brought by the Commission under this chapter that results in monetary sanctions exceeding $1,000,000.
The term “Fund” means the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Customer Protection Fund established under subsection (g).
(3) Monetary sanctions
The term “monetary sanctions”, when used with respect to any judicial or administrative action means—
(A) any monies, including penalties, disgorgement, restitution, and interest ordered to be paid; and
(4) Original information
The term “original information” means information that—
(B) is not known to the Commission from any other source, unless the whistleblower is the original source of the information; and
(5) Related action
The term “related action”, when used with respect to any judicial or administrative action brought by the Commission under this chapter, means any judicial or administrative action brought by an entity described in subclauses (I) through (VI) of subsection (h)(2)(C) that is based upon the original information provided by a whistleblower pursuant to subsection (a) that led to the successful enforcement of the Commission action.
(6) Successful resolution
The term “successful resolution”, when used with respect to any judicial or administrative action brought by the Commission under this chapter, includes any settlement of such action.
(1) In general
In any covered judicial or administrative action, or related action, the Commission, under regulations prescribed by the Commission and subject to subsection (c), shall pay an award or awards to 1 or more whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information to the Commission that led to the successful enforcement of the covered judicial or administrative action, or related action, in an aggregate amount equal to—
(A) not less than 10 percent, in total, of what has been collected of the monetary sanctions imposed in the action or related actions; and
(c) Determination of amount of award; denial of award
(1) Determination of amount of award
The determination of the amount of an award made under subsection (b) shall be in the discretion of the Commission.
In determining the amount of an award made under subsection (b), the Commission—
(i) shall take into consideration—
(I) the significance of the information provided by the whistleblower to the success of the covered judicial or administrative action;
(II) the degree of assistance provided by the whistleblower and any legal representative of the whistleblower in a covered judicial or administrative action;
(III) the programmatic interest of the Commission in deterring violations of the  chapter (including regulations under the  chapter) by making awards to whistleblowers who provide information that leads to the successful enforcement of such laws; and
(2) Denial of award
No award under subsection (b) shall be made—
(A) to any whistleblower who is, or was at the time the whistleblower acquired the original information submitted to the Commission, a member, officer, or employee of—
(B) to any whistleblower who is convicted of a criminal violation related to the judicial or administrative action for which the whistleblower otherwise could receive an award under this section;
(C) to any whistleblower who submits information to the Commission that is based on the facts underlying the covered action submitted previously by another whistleblower;
(1) Permitted representation
Any whistleblower who makes a claim for an award under subsection (b) may be represented by counsel.
(2) Required representation
(A) In general
Any whistleblower who anonymously makes a claim for an award under subsection (b) shall be represented by counsel if the whistleblower submits the information upon which the claim is based.
(e) No contract necessary
No contract with the Commission is necessary for any whistleblower to receive an award under subsection (b), unless otherwise required by the Commission, by rule or regulation.
(1) In general
Any determination made under this section, including whether, to whom, or in what amount to make awards, shall be in the discretion of the Commission.
Any determination described in paragraph (1) may be appealed to the appropriate court of appeals of the United States not more than 30 days after the determination is issued by the Commission.
(g) Commodity Futures Trading Commission Customer Protection Fund
There is established in the Treasury of the United States a revolving fund to be known as the “Commodity Futures Trading Commission Customer Protection Fund”.
(2) Use of Fund
The Fund shall be available to the Commission, without further appropriation or fiscal year limitation, for—
(3) Deposits and credits
There shall be deposited into or credited to the Fund:
(A) Monetary sanctions
Any monetary sanctions collected by the Commission in any covered judicial or administrative action that is not otherwise distributed to victims of a violation of this chapter or the rules and regulations thereunder underlying such action, unless the balance of the Fund at the time the monetary judgment is collected exceeds $100,000,000.
(B) Additional amounts
If the amounts deposited into or credited to the Fund under subparagraph (A) are not sufficient to satisfy an award made under subsection (b), there shall be deposited into or credited to the Fund an amount equal to the unsatisfied portion of the award from any monetary sanction collected by the Commission in any judicial or administrative action brought by the Commission under this chapter that is based on information provided by a whistleblower.
(A) Amounts in Fund may be invested
The Commission may request the Secretary of the Treasury to invest the portion of the Fund that is not, in the Commission’s judgment, required to meet the current needs of the Fund.
(B) Eligible investments
Investments shall be made by the Secretary of the Treasury in obligations of the United States or obligations that are guaranteed as to principal and interest by the United States, with maturities suitable to the needs of the Fund as determined by the Commission.
(5) Reports to Congress
Not later than October 30 of each year, the Commission shall transmit to the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry of the Senate, and the Committee on Agriculture of the House of Representatives a report on—
(A) the Commission’s whistleblower award program under this section, including a description of the number of awards granted and the types of cases in which awards were granted during the preceding fiscal year;
(B) customer education initiatives described in paragraph (2)(B) that were funded by the Fund during the preceding fiscal year;
(F) the amount paid from the Fund during the preceding fiscal year to whistleblowers pursuant to subsection (b);
(G) the amount paid from the Fund during the preceding fiscal year for customer education initiatives described in paragraph (2)(B);
(h) Protection of whistleblowers
(1) Prohibition against retaliation
(A) In general
No employer may discharge, demote, suspend, threaten, harass, directly or indirectly, or in any other manner discriminate against, a whistleblower in the terms and conditions of employment because of any lawful act done by the whistleblower—
(i) Cause of action An individual who alleges discharge or other discrimination in violation of subparagraph (A) may bring an action under this subsection in the appropriate district court of the United States for the relief provided in subparagraph (C), unless the individual who is alleging discharge or other discrimination in violation of subparagraph (A) is an employee of the Federal Government, in which case the individual shall only bring an action under section 1221 of title 5.
(ii) Subpoenas A subpoena requiring the attendance of a witness at a trial or hearing conducted under this subsection may be served at any place in the United States.
Relief for an individual prevailing in an action brought under subparagraph (B) shall include—
(i) reinstatement with the same seniority status that the individual would have had, but for the discrimination;
(A) In general
Except as provided in subparagraphs (B) and (C), the Commission, and any officer or employee of the Commission, shall not disclose any information, including information provided by a whistleblower to the Commission, which could reasonably be expected to reveal the identity of a whistleblower, except in accordance with the provisions of section 552a of title 5, unless and until required to be disclosed to a defendant or respondent in connection with a public proceeding instituted by the Commission or any entity described in subparagraph (C). For purposes of section 552 of title 5, this paragraph shall be considered a statute described in subsection (b)(3)(B) of such section 552.
Nothing in this paragraph is intended to limit the ability of the Attorney General to present such evidence to a grand jury or to share such evidence with potential witnesses or defendants in the course of an ongoing criminal investigation.
(C) Availability to government agencies
(i) In general Without the loss of its status as confidential in the hands of the Commission, all information referred to in subparagraph (A) may, in the discretion of the Commission, when determined by the Commission to be necessary or appropriate to accomplish the purposes of this chapter and protect customers and in accordance with clause (ii), be made available to—
(II) an appropriate department or agency of the Federal Government, acting within the scope of its jurisdiction;
(III) a registered entity, registered futures association, or self-regulatory organization as defined in section 78c (a) of title 15;
(V) an appropriate department or agency of any State, acting within the scope of its jurisdiction; and
(ii) Maintenance of information Each of the entities, agencies, or persons described in clause (i) shall maintain information described in that clause as confidential, in accordance with the requirements in subparagraph (A).
(iii) Study on impact of FOIA exemption on Commodity Futures Trading Commission
(I) Study The Inspector General of the Commission shall conduct a study—
(aa) on whether the exemption under section 552 (b)(3) of title 5 (known as the Freedom of Information Act) established in paragraph (2)(A) aids whistleblowers in disclosing information to the Commission;
(bb) on what impact the exemption has had on the public’s ability to access information about the Commission’s regulation of commodity futures and option markets; and
(II) Report Not later than 30 months after July 21, 2010, the Inspector General shall—
(aa) submit a report on the findings of the study required under this clause to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives; and
(i) Rulemaking authority
The Commission shall have the authority to issue such rules and regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to implement the provisions of this section consistent with the purposes of this section.
(j) Implementing rules
The Commission shall issue final rules or regulations implementing the provisions of this section not later than 270 days after July 21, 2010.
(k) Original information
Information submitted to the Commission by a whistleblower in accordance with rules or regulations implementing this section shall not lose its status as original information solely because the whistleblower submitted such information prior to the effective date of such rules or regulations, provided such information was submitted after July 21, 2010.
A whistleblower may receive an award pursuant to this section regardless of whether any violation of a provision of this chapter, or a rule or regulation thereunder, underlying the judicial or administrative action upon which the award is based occurred prior to July 21, 2010.
(m) Provision of false information
A whistleblower who knowingly and willfully makes any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation, or who makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry, shall not be entitled to an award under this section and shall be subject to prosecution under section 1001 of title 18.
(n) Nonenforceability of certain provisions waiving rights and remedies or requiring arbitration of disputes
(1) Waiver of rights and remedies
The rights and remedies provided for in this section may not be waived by any agreement, policy form, or condition of employment including by a predispute arbitration agreement.
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Source(Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 369, § 23, as added Pub. L. 111–203, title VII, § 748,July 21, 2010, 124 Stat. 1739.)
A prior section 26, act Sept. 21, 1922, ch. 369, § 23, as added Jan. 11, 1983, Pub. L. 97–444, title II, § 236, 96 Stat. 2324, provided for special studies to be conducted by Commission, Board of Governors of Federal Reserve System, and Securities and Exchange Commission, prior to repeal by Pub. L. 102–546, title IV, § 402(15),Oct. 28, 1992, 106 Stat. 3625.
Section effective on the later of 360 days after July 21, 2010, or, to the extent a provision of subtitle A (§§ 711–754) of title VII of Pub. L. 111–203requires a rulemaking, not less than 60 days after publication of the final rule or regulation implementing such provision of subtitle A, see section 754 ofPub. L. 111–203, set out as an Effective Date of 2010 Amendment note under section 1a of this title.