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Whistleblower Petitions to Force SEC to Respond to Dodd-Frank Award Claim

A petitioner has filed a Writ of Mandamus directing the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue a determination on an award claim filed under the Dodd-Frank Act.  The Writ, filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is intended to reduce the time period between filing an award claim under the SEC’s Whistleblower Program before receiving a determination from the SEC.

The SEC’s Whistleblower Program, established by Section 922 of the Dodd-Frank Act, requires the SEC to pay a monetary award to whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information to the SEC that led to the successful enforcement of a covered judicial, administrative, or related action.  The Whistleblower Program has proven effective, as it incentivizes whistleblowers to come forward and report illegal activities to the government.  Due to the amount of award claims filed, however, the SEC has faced delays in issuing determinations on filed claims.

Although it remains to be seen how the Court will rule on the Writ, the petitioner’s filing illustrates the popularity of the Whistleblower Program, the laudable goals of the Program, and the delays currently affecting the SEC’s administration of the Program.

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