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July 24, 2013

Commissioner Says CFTC Started Investigations Without Proper Approval

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission is delegating too much authority to the enforcement division, Republican Commissioner Scott O’Malia said Tuesday.

Mr. O’Malia, testifying at a House hearing, said enforcement staff is trying to circumvent the powers of the full commission by proposing to bring investigations without a full CFTC vote. He said the staff is using a process, known as “absent objection of the majority of the commission,” to pursue certain cases and issue subpoenas without a full commission vote.

“‘I take very seriously the responsibility to pursue investigations or to issue subpoenas that must be an action of the commission,’ Mr. O’Malia said after the hearing. Mr. O’Malia called the use of the process ‘a radical procedural shift in the authorization of investigations.’

Proponents of the process argue that delegating authority reduces bureaucracy and prevents bottlenecks. Democratic Commissioner Bart Chilton said all probes are approved by the commission and he sees no problem.”

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Read full Wall Street Journal article here

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