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CFTC Enforcement Will Seek Agency Votes on Probes, O’Malia Says

Enforcement lawyers at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission have dropped a policy of acting without approval to extend investigations, according to Scott O’Malia, a Republican member who opposed the practice.

The agency’s enforcement division reconsidered its policy of extending investigations absent commissioners’ objections and will now seek their express approval with a vote, O’Malia said in a statement today. The are four sitting members of the commission which regulates derivatives.

“It is imperative for the commission to issue formal orders of investigation that are consistent with congressional intent and that reflect the commission’s collective opinion, based upon each commissioner’s independent review of the merits of each request,” O’Malia said.

The agency’s enforcement process was first highlighted by O’Malia on July 23 at a congressional hearing during which he said the policy was undermining commissioners’ oversight. He said he had dissented from an enforcement matter because of the procedural shift.

Steve Adamske, CFTC spokesman, declined to comment.

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