Proposed guidance on the proper treatment of certain electric power and natural gas contracts is approved. The CFTC has approved proposed guidance that certain capacity contracts in electric power markets and certain natural gas contracts should not be considered “swaps” under the CEA because they are examples of customary commercial arrangements as described in the final rule defining the term “swap.” The public comment period on all aspects of this proposed guidance will close 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. (4/4/2016) CFTC press release. Massad statement.

Whistleblower award of over US$10 million is announced. The CFTC announced an award of over $10 million to a whistleblower who provided vital original information that led to a successful CFTC enforcement action. The award is the largest made by the CFTC’s Whistleblower Program to date and the third award to a whistleblower who provided valuable information about CEA violations. (4/4/2016) CFTC press release.

CFTC approves final rule that provides an alternative to fingerprinting for foreign natural persons. The CFTC announced that it has approved a final rule adding an alternative for foreign natural persons to the requirement to provide fingerprints when applying for CFTC registration. The final rule will permit any such person’s registered firm to complete a criminal history background check instead of submitting fingerprints. The final rule is effective on May 2, 2016. (3/28/2016) CFTC press release.