Article by Erika A. Kelton published in The Washington Post, 12/13/2010.
Washington’s business lobby has sprung into action to kill the new Securities and Exchange Commission whistle-blower program in a tried-and-true Washington way: Convince the agency to issue regulations that render the program ineffective.
Even before the SEC issued proposed rules last month, defense law firms met with SEC officials while others wrote articles and issued press releases, all trumpeting the same doomsday warning about the SEC whistle-blower program. Unless whistle-blowers are required to report their concerns about fraud to their employer before they are allowed to notify the SEC, these doomsayers predict, corporate compliance programs will be destroyed. Companies — which would take corrective actions if they only knew about the fraud — will be forced to drain corporate coffers to defend against meritless allegations.