The SEC has released the text of its proposed new rules for implementing the whistleblower provisions of Section 21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934: Release No. 34-63237.
In fashioning these proposed rules, the Commission has considered and weighed a number of potentially competing interests that are presented in implementing the statute. Among them was the potential for the monetary incentives provided to whistleblowers by Section 21F of the Exchange Act to reduce the effectiveness of a company’s existing compliance, legal, audit and similar internal processes for investigating and responding to potential violations of the federal securities laws. With this possible tension in mind, we have included provisions in the proposed rules intended not to discourage whistleblowers who work for companies that have robust compliance programs to first report the violation to appropriate company personnel, while at the same time preserving the whistleblower’s status as an original source of the information and eligibility for an award. At the same time, the proposed rules would not prohibit a whistleblower in a compliance function from reporting information to the Commission where the company did not provide the information to the Commission within a reasonable time or acted in bad faith.
At this point, it is merely a proposed rule. Comments should be submitted on or before December 17, 2010.
There will be a new Form TCR for submitting a tip, complaint or referral and a new Form WB-DEC, Declaration Concerning Original Information Provided Pursuant to §21F of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, signed under penalty of perjury, for submission to the SEC to meet the standards of the new regulations.