1218. `The Special Counsel shall submit an annual report to the Congress on the activities of the Special Counsel, including the number, types, and disposition of allegations of prohibited personnel practices filed with it, investigations conducted by it, and actions initiated by it before the Merit Systems Protection Board, as well as a description of the recommendations and reports made by it to other agencies pursuant to this subchapter, and the actions taken by the agencies as a result of the reports or recommendations. The report required by this section shall include whatever recommendations for legislation or other action by Congress the Special Counsel may consider appropriate.
1219. `(a) The Special Counsel shall maintain and make available to the public–
`(1) a list of noncriminal matters referred to heads of agencies under subsection (c) of section 1213, together with reports from heads of agencies under subsection (c)(1)(B) of such section relating to such matters;
`(2) a list of matters referred to heads of agencies under section 1215(c)(2);
`(3) a list of matters referred to heads of agencies under subsection (e) of section 1214, together with certifications from heads of agencies under such subsection; and
`(4) reports from heads of agencies under section 1213(g)(1).
`(b) The Special Counsel shall take steps to ensure that any list or report made available to the public under this section does not contain any information the disclosure of which is prohibited by law or by Executive order requiring that information be kept secret in the interest of national defense or the conduct of foreign affairs.
(1) STUDY.-The Inspector General of the Commission shall conduct a study of the whistleblower protections established under the amendments made by this section, including-
(A) whether the final rules and regulation issued under the amendments made by this section have made the whistleblower protection program (referred to in this subsection as the ‘‘program”) clearly defined and user-friendly;
(B) whether the program is promoted on the website of the Commission and has been widely publicized;
(C)whether the Commission is prompt in-
(i) responding to-
(I) information provided by whistleblowers;
(II) applications for awards filed by whistleblowers;
(ii) updating whistleblowers about the status of their applications; and
(iii) otherwise communicating with the interested parties;
(D) whether the minimum and maximum reward levels are adequate to entice whistleblowers to come forward with H. R. 4173-474 information and whether the reward levels are so high as to encourage illegitimate whistleblower claims;
(E) whether the appeals process has been unduly burdensome for the Commission;
(F) whether the funding mechanism for the Investor Protection Fund is adequate;
(G) whether, in the interest of protecting investors and identifying and preventing fraud, it would be useful for Congress to consider empowering whistleblowers or other individuals, who have already attempted to pursue the case through the Commission, to have a private right of action to bring suit based on the facts of the same case, on behalf of the Government and themselves, against persons who have committee securities fraud;
(H) (i) whether the exemption under section 552(b)(3) of title 5 (known as the Freedom of Information Act) established in section 21F(h)(2)(A) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as added by this Act, aids whistleblowers in disclosing information to the Commission;
(ii) what impact the exemption described in clause (i) has had on the ability of the public to access information about the regulation and enforcement by the Commission of securities; and
(iii) any recommendations on whether the exemption described in clause (i) should remain in effect; and (I) such other matters as the Inspector General deems appropriate.
(2) REPORT.-Not later than 30 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Inspector General shall-
(A) submit a report on the findings of the study required under paragraph (1) to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House; and
(B) make the report described in subparagraph (A) available to the public through publication of the report on the website of the Commission.
Referenced Legislation: Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) (1989)