SEC Proposes Amendments to Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Award Rules
On February 10, 2022, the SEC issued two proposals to amend the Dodd-Frank whistleblower program rules. The SEC proposes to amend Rule 21F-3 to allow it to make payment of awards under its program in certain circumstances in related actions covered by another whistleblower award program, even if the other agency’s award program has a more direct connection to the related action. The SEC is proposing a “comparability” approach: In cases in which another award program is not “comparable” to its award program, the SEC may award the whistleblower under its program. The proposal would also allow the SEC to make an award under its program regardless of which agency’s award program had the more direct or relevant connection to the action, if the SEC would not be able to pay more than $5 million under its program.
The second proposal relates to how the SEC may assess dollar amounts as a factor in the final award. The SEC proposes to amend Rule 21F-6 to affirm its authority to consider the dollar amount of the reward for the purpose of increasing the reward, but not for the purpose of decreasing the reward.