CFTC commissioner Scott
OMalia has publicly slammed his own organisation for not
devoting enough funds to technology and blamed the Commission
for the proposed cut in its budget, writes Joe
Earlier this week President Obama
proposed a budget of $280m for the CFTC in 2015, less than the
$315m he asked for in fiscal year 2014, and the commissioner
believes the CFTCs failures are behind this.
I respectfully dissent the
fiscal year 2015 budget request because the Commission
continues to make improbable funding requests and still
continues to significantly underfund technology, said
I had hoped the Commission
would have completed by now a strategic plan that includes a
technology and workforce investment programme... the Commission
has failed to develop such a strategic plan and missed the
statutory deadline for submitting the plan to the
Administration and Congress.
O Malia said the CFTC makes poor
use of its funds, having increased data and technology spending
by 6.8% between 2011 and 2014, despite the Commissions
overall funding growing 11.7% in the same period.
Furthermore, the CFTC plans to
allocate only $50m to non-full-time equivalent technology
investments, which is less than the $51.1m funding level in
FY2012 when the Commissions overall budget was $205.3m,
$74.7m less than the current budget request.
Given this funding plan, the
Commission will waste another year without deploying critical
technology, such as an order message data collection and
analysis system, a key tool for surveillance. Without this
investment, the Commission will not have access to the millions
of order messages that flood the exchanges on a
minute-by-minute basis, added OMalia.
He believes the planned funding
for technology will hamper the CFTCs ability to improve
the quality of its swaps data and build the necessary tools to
use the data for analysis and surveillance.
Earlier this week, fellow
commissioner Bart Chilton spoke out against the proposed budget
for the Commission, arguing it is woefully
insufficient to support the derivatives watchdog in
taking on the responsibility of overseeing the swaps
Our staff is on its knees,
some reaching for the exit doors and others already having
bailed. Employee morale is the lowest Ive witnessed,
dropping 13% in just the last year, said Chilton.