SEC OWB Whistleblower liability / estimated payout calculations (as referenced in the SEC's 2017 Financial Report)

Taylor Amarel filed this request with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the United States of America.
Tracking #


18-00536, 18-01121-FOIA

18-00536, 18-00231-APPS




From: Taylor Amarel

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a request under the Freedom of Information Act. I hereby request the following records:

I would like to obtain all documents and calculations/methods, records, and correspondence among SEC staff as it relates to the SEC's statements that: "The SEC recognized a contingent liability for potential future whistleblower awards for the period ended September 30, 2017 of $221.0 million" (

If the SEC conducted calculations that included the number of Whistleblower claims received, the estimated percentage of payment per claim, etc - I would like to obtain these calculations. If the SEC estimated the amount based on some agency methods, I would like any and all documents that detail these methods (such as a manual, memo, instructions, etc.).

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that there are fees, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 20 business days, as the statute requires.


Taylor Amarel

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

From: Taylor Amarel


Could you give me an estimate on the number of days remaining for this request or the number of expected results (pages) that are being reviewed?

Thank you,
Taylor Amarel

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

From: Taylor Amarel

To whom this may concern,

I am appealing this decision on the basis that the information I am requesting is, to a large extent, summary or aggregate information, that would not cause any harm or be subject to the mentioned exceptions. Furthermore, logically, the information can be redacted in a manner that discloses similar information that the SEC already discloses during it's Whistleblower press releases. For example, stating a Whistleblowers is awarded over $4 million dollars, etc. Indeed, the information that I am requesting is analogs to a pro-forma report on the SEC Whistleblower program, which the SEC prominently advertises here:

Given that the SEC can publish information such as: "Size of Award", "Top 10 Awards", "Tips By Region", and even more specific information in releases such as:,,,,

Put bluntly, the information that I am requesting is even less specific than the information that the SEC's Whistleblower office regularly publishes, therefore, the exceptions cited are not applicable.

Notwithstanding the results of this appeal, I am requesting the FOIAPA log files for this request and the specific number of documents that you have exempted from disclosure. Please produce this in a format similar to a Vaughn index and take all reasonable and necessary actions to release partially redacted documents.

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

Mr. Amarel,

Attached is the final response to this FOIA request. Please contact me if you have any questions.


Mark Siford
Counsel to the Director
Office of Support Operations
U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission
(202) 551-7201

From: Securities and Exchange Commission

A copy of documents responsive to the request.

From: Taylor Amarel


Thanks so much for your help with this request! I really appreciate it.

Taylor Amarel