By Morgan Watkins | May 26th, 2011
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission approved rules May 25 that could encourage whistleblowers to warn the agency of potential securities violations with an effective new motivator: money.
Under the new rules, whistleblowers may reap the benefits of helping the SEC ferret out fraud and other problems. If their information helps the SEC collect money via subsequent enforcement methods, whistleblowers could receive between 10 percent and 30 percent of the funds.
The SEC approved the rewards program despite fierce opposition from corporations that lobbied for constraints, not incentives, for whistleblowers.
SEC commissioners rejected calls by businesses to require whistleblowers to notify companies they plan to accuse so they can address the issues.
The University of Virginia has agreed, along with a conservative advocacy group, to turn over requested documents related to global warming researcher and former university professor Michael Mann by Aug. 22.
The American Tradition Institute’s Environmental Law Center and state legislator Bob Marshall (R-Prince William) requested about 9,000 pages of records, according to the university. About 20 percent of the requested records have already been released.
This isn’t the only records request centered on Mann’s research. Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli, asked for similar information. Both Cuccinelli and ATI said they want the documents to see if scientists attempted to skew data to show the earth had experienced a recent and quick warming.
Mann believes his research has been targeted by organizations that disagree with his conclusions, according to a post on the Washington Post blog “Virginia Politics.”
U-Va. is fighting Cuccinelli’s subpoena in the courtroom, and the case will be heard by the Supreme Court of Virginia.
– Morgan Watkins
Morgan Watkins is SPJ’s summer Pulliam/Kilgore Freedom of Information intern and a University of Florida student. Reach her by email (email@example.com) or connect with her on Twitter (@morganwatkins26).