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August 5, 2019

US House of Representatives to consider PCAOB whistleblower legislation

The ‘PCAOB Whistleblower Protection Act’ of 2019 was introduced into the House of Representatives by Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D, Texas) on 5 July 2019 with the aim of adding whistleblower incentives and protection to the US audit watchdog, the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board along the lines of the whistleblower rules in place at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The legislation has been tabled as an amendment to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. On 16 July 2019 the Financial Services Committee passed the bill which moves on to its next step, which would be a vote on the floor of the full House.

The bill proposes that the PCAOB ‘shall pay an award or awards to 1 or more whistleblowers who voluntarily provided original information to the Board that resulted in the board imposing monetary sanctions’,  with potential payments stipulated at not less than 10% and not more than 50% ‘of what has been collected of the monetary sanctions imposed’.

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