The Office of the Executive Director (OED)

Office of the Executive Director

The Office of the Executive Director (OED) provides management services which support the programs of the Commission. OED offices include Information Resources Management, Financial Management, Human Resources, and Administrative Services, as well as the Commission Library. The Commission's Office of Proceedings is under the administrative direction of the Executive Director.  Through these offices, OED provides strategic planning, personnel management, staffing, training, accounting, budgeting, contracting, procurement, end-user computing, systems development, and facilities and equipment management. OED staff:

formulate budget strategies;

manage the allocation and utilization of agency resources;

impose management controls and ensure financial integrity;

develop and implement the agency’s automated information systems;

provide information and research services; and

ensure agency-wide compliance with Federal requirements enacted by Congress and imposed by the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of the Treasury, the General Accounting Office, the General Services Administration, and the Office of Personnel Management.

Organizational Review.  During FY 1999, the Commission contracted with Electronic Data Systems for an independent assessment of the Commission’s information technology program.  The assessment was conducted between January and June 2000, with a report issued in July 2000.

The report included a number of specific recommendations including: 1) structural changes to the Office of Information Resources Management (OIRM) organization; 2) reestablishment of an information technology (IT) strategic planning body with enhanced senior management involvement; 3) a staff increase from 35 to 58 FTEs; 4) implementation of skill requirements for staff based upon the Chief Information Officer’s Council Core Competencies framework; 5) infrastructure changes including an enhanced information security program; and 6) reengineering of the change management process.

The Commission has initiated several of these changes with existing resources. The OIRM organization has been modified to support the required changes and the Commission established an Executive Management Council to develop integrated Commission-wide strategies for the effective use of financial, human, information technology and physical resources to support the mandates of the Commission.

Other changes are predicated on a substantial increase in information technology resources.  Some of this increase can be found within existing Commission resources.  The Commission intends to reallocate for information technology six existing positions. These positions will be filled during FY 2001.  Beyond this, the Commission will seek additional resources if necessary to implement the critical recommendations of the IT  assessment.  The Commission will seek authority for 10 additional positions in FY 2002 for a total of 51 full-time equivalents (FTEs).  After FY 2002, the Commission will seek authority to bring the staff of OIRM to 58 FTEs. With full staffing, the Commission will be positioned to complete the implementation of the recommended changes to its IT program.

Intranet Development.  Staff in the immediate office of the Executive Director worked with OIRM to enhance the use of the Intranet.  This information includes agency news and events, historical documents, information on agency programs and benefits, reference links to information sources (legal, market, Federal, exchange), a calendar of Commission-wide events, a notices board, and a staff directory.   In particular, staff worked to make a library agency documents available through the Intranet to provide staff with useful document formats and historical information.

Internal and External Reports.  OED drafts a variety of internal and external reports on behalf of the Commission.  OED prepares for Commission approval the Quarterly Performance Review, which outlines the agency’s accomplishments and priorities by quarter under its Annual Performance Plan (APP).  OED also develops the agency’s biannual Unified Agenda and the annual Regulatory Plan, which provide information to the public on the agency’s most significant regulatory priorities.  In addition, OED prepares the CFTC’s Annual Report to Congress.

Legal Updates and Compliance.  During FY 1999, OED, in coordination with the Office of General Counsel and the Freedom of Information Act Office, amended the agency’s rules to provide for biannual rather than annual updates of the Commission’s Privacy Act systems of records.  In addition, several systems were updated to reflect changes in Commission technology. OED continued its efforts to ensure the agency’s compliance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Congressional Review Act, and the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act.  OED also coordinated the agency’s implementation of the Government Paperwork Elimination Act and the agency’s compliance with provisions of the Rehabilitation Act as they apply to government technology.

Other OED Activities.  During FY 2000, the Acting Executive Director undertook a teambuilding effort within the division.  The office directors of OED met to develop their teambuilding and problem-solving skills, then drafted a vision, values and objectives for the Office of the Executive Director.  Other OED supervisors were provided the same training and began to develop new norms of operation for the division.  OED intends to continue this effort during FY 2001.

Office of Information Resources Management

OIRM provides essential automation services to the Commission. OIRM staff:

develop and maintain systems to support Commission activities;

provide end-user computing services;

maintain the Commission’s facilities for network services;

provide Internet access and support;

maintain the Commission’s website and Intranet;

support the work of the Commission’s operating divisions by reviewing automated trading and clearing systems used by the regulated futures industry;  and

ensure information security and integrity.

During the first quarter of FY 2000, the OIRM completed preparations for the Year 2000, including final testing of contingency measures and replacement of the New York office telephone system for Year 2000 compliance.  Year 2000 arrived quietly and the contingency plan for infrastructure failures was not exercised.

A reengineered market surveillance system, based upon client-server architecture, went into service in the first quarter of FY 2000. This reengineered system includes daily information about the positions of large options traders in place of the weekly information included in the system that was taken out of service.  The trade practice investigation system moved to a client server platform in the third quarter of FY 2000.  At the beginning of FY 2000, CFTC began using the Department of the Interior’s Financial Management System in place of the previous CFTC operated system. After these systems which previously operated at CFTC’s Chicago Data Center had been replaced or moved, OIRM closed the Chicago Data Center in June 2000.

OIRM reorganized to better implement the recommendations of the independent review of the office. Several essential positions were filled including the OIRM Deputy Director.  OIRM published a CFTC Five-Year Plan for Information Resources Management in the second quarter of FY 2000.  With the recommendations of the independent review, this will form the basis for CFTC’s IRM activities.

Office of Financial Management

The Office of Financial Management (OFM) manages the Commission's financial and budget programs.  OFM staff members:

coordinate development of the Commission's strategic plan, annual performance plan, and annual performance report,

formulate and execute the Commission's budget,

provide contracting and purchasing services,

ensure proper use of, and accounting for, agency resources, and

manage the Commission's travel services.

In FY 2000, OFM submitted the FY 2001 President’s Budget to the Office of Budget and Management (OMB) and to Congress. The Commission also submitted the FY 2001 Annual Performance Plan and the FY 1999 Annual Performance Report to OMB and to Congress in accordance with the Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA). Also in accordance with the GPRA, the Commission performed periodic evaluations of agency performance.  These evaluations are published as the Quarterly Performance Review.

Also in FY 2000, OFM improved its procurement and accounting services. Noteworthy improvements include the  issuance of a final policy entitled “Guidelines for Simplified Acquisitions.” This policy streamlines the Commission’s procurement process; fosters the practice of acquiring goods and services that represent the best value reasonably available; and fosters compliance with the laws and regulations that govern procurement activities in the federal government.   Also in FY 2000, OFM coordinated the migration  of the Commission’s automated financial management system (FMS) from the CFTC mainframe to the mainframe at the Department of Interior (DOI). The DOI will provide full servicing of the Commission’s FMS on a cost reimbursable basis and eliminate the requirement for in-house contractor support at the CFTC. OFM also installed and updated a Web-based version of Travel Manager and provided training to staff in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Kansas City, Los Angeles, and New York offices.

Office of Human Resources

The Office of Human Resources (OHR) manages the Commission's personnel functions.  OHR staff members:

develop and implement the Commission’s human resources policies, programs and procedures;

provide recruitment, staffing, pay and classification services;

advise on issues of performance management, employee and labor relations;

offer employee development and training services; and

administer the Commission’s employee benefits and payroll functions.

In FY 2000, OHR revamped and improved the on-site professional development and training services available to CFTC employees by relocating the Employee Resource Center to the Library for easier access by employees and adding web-enhanced functions. Additionally, OHR staff enhanced the regional staff’s ability to take advantage of these resources by dedicating personal computers in each region and to facilitate use of a revised catalogue of materials available electronically through the Commission's Intranet and the newly added various “favorite” websites.  These advancements were presented to both headquarters’ and regional staff through a telephonic hook up and PowerPoint presentation.

During FY 2000, OHR made several other advancements in its training programs to meet the current training needs of its employees through the creation and implementation of several training programs.  OHR provided oversight and administration of two semesters and 86 industry/technical/legal sessions for all Commission employees. OHR's development and implementation of both segments of the Management Training Program, Nuts and Bolts and Leadership Effectiveness, further addressed training needs.  OHR designed and developed an Intranet training page incorporating the FY-2000 training plan, internal and external training, alternatives to classroom training, continuing education, internal course and reference material, training schedules and other information.  In an attempt to better meet and anticipate the future training needs of Commission employees, OHR convened the Training Advisory Group Committee to plan FY-2001 initiatives.  Plans include a revised curriculum, instructors, schedule formulation and implementation of a personal/professional segment and the human resources fundamentals segment for all employees.

In an effort to increase the efficiency of the Commission's standard operating procedures, OHR instituted an on-line distribution of recurring staffing reports.  Additionally, OHR has automated and streamlined many of its own functions, including the posting of vacancy announcements to the Internet and developing a new Applicant Tracking System in Microsoft Access, which will replace the legacy SF-52 tracking system.

OHR enhanced its intern program with the FY 2000 summer intern recruitment, placement and training Program.  OHR developed and implemented an 8-week summer intern orientation and training program which included a telephonic hook up and a “Meet the Director” segment to provide the interns with an opportunity to gain familiarity of the Commission through Division Directors. OHR ended FY 2000 activities with offers to three summer law students, pending their graduation in May 2001, as well as retraining another during the school year 2000-2001, with the intent to make an offer upon graduation.

OHR continued to enhance the administration of the Commission’s employee benefits and payroll functions by implementing life insurance open season elections, Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) open season, prepared for the employee option to pay their Federal Employee’s Health Benefits (FEHB) premiums on a pre-tax basis, and piloted the first job-sharing/telecommuting agreement between the Commission and an OHR staff member.  Additionally, OHR arranged timekeeper audits for regional locations and completed the biennial timekeeper audits.

During FY 2000, OHR completed the employee assistance program orientation for all employees and supervisory training in Washington, New York and Chicago.  OHR also arranged two on-site flu shot clinics, resulting in approximately ninety Washington employees being inoculated.  OHR in coordination with the Federal Women’s Program arranged a "Stress Management" workshop in the New York Regional Office with the Commission's employee assistance program provider.  OHR also revised the Federal occupational health agreement to incorporate delivery of expanded health services to all Commission locations.

OHR continued to codify Commission Instructions for ease of use and understanding.  OHR published the merit promotion plan and issued the recruitment and relocation bonus and retention allowance instructions.  Additionally, OHR issued the alternative dispute resolution and grievance program instruction and revised the employee performance, results and recognition plan for general schedule and prevailing rate employees program instruction to incorporate performance appraisal reconsideration.  OHR issued the annual guidance on emergency dismissal and closure procedures for Commission employees in Washington.  Finally, OHR issued an instruction that established the Commission’s procedure on reimbursement of professional liability insurance.

Office of Administrative Services

The Office of Administrative Services (OAS) provides support Services to the Commission programs.  OAS staff members:

acquire office supplies, equipment and furniture;

maintain, repair, and dispose of equipment;

manage telecommunications;

manage facilities and office security;

provide local transportation;

ensure effective property and space management;

print and reproduce Commission materials; and

process and distribute mail.

In order to improve the acquisition of supplies, equipment and furniture, OAS decentralized its financial accounts and created sub-allocations for its regional offices.  As a result, regional staff has direct access to the Federal Financial System, which provides greater regional flexibility and expedited customer service. In addition, OAS continued its Acquisition Planning Process and was able to approve all agency requirements. OAS and OIRM collaborated to standardize equipment in all main Commission conference rooms, which will ensure that each room has the same audio-visual capabilities and save staff meeting preparation time.  In addition, OAS revamped the Commission’s excess property program, successfully removed a large volume of surplus agency equipment and furniture and allowing more effective use of office space.

To enhance the safety of Commission employees, OAS conducted a successful emergency preparedness exercise at Headquarters and issued a Workplace Security Advisory nationwide.  In addition, OAS installed duress buttons at the main reception stations in New York and Chicago, as well as glass window cut outs in entrance doors to ensure against employee injury.   OAS also purchase a digital ID system, which will provide new personal identification for all CFTC employees and a secured database identifying employees by automated pictures as well as In addition, new credentials will be provided to authorized personnel.  The system will enhance our ability to rapidly identify an employee in case of an emergency and simplify the issuance of ID cards nationwide.

In FY 2000, OAS implemented a tracking software package to electronically record helpdesk requests.  This tracking system allowed OAS to better track requests from customers and ensured timely completion and customer satisfaction.

Commission Library

The Commission Library services the information and research needs of the Commission.  The collection of the Library consists of print, microform, and electronic materials.  Library staff members:

procure and maintain periodical and book collections;

provide legal and economic research services;

acquire needed information for employees through interlibrary loans; and

provide training on use of automated research tools.

In FY 1999, the Library purchased a new integrated library system.  The new system significantly improves the ability of the Library to serve its users by combining the periodical and book online catalogs and providing new search capabilities. Since the installation, the Library has been implementing the various modules.  In the beginning of FY 2001, the vendor is coming out with a new version of its Internet-based catalog.  While the Library staff is using a Windows-based catalog, the rest of the Commission will use the Internet version.  In conjunction with the purchase of the new integrated library system, all existing books are being coded with new barcodes that can be used with the new library system.

In an effort to enhance support of the information needs of the regional offices, the Supervisory Librarian visited the Commission's New York office to assess their needs, meet with the staff, and look over the collection.  The Supervisory Librarian will hold similar meetings with the Chicago and Los Angeles staff in FY 2001.

Office of Proceedings

The Office of Proceedings provides an inexpensive, impartial and expeditious forum for handling customer complaints against persons or firms registered under the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA). Through the reparations program of the Office of Proceedings, customers may bring complaints against professionals currently or formerly registered with the Commission if the individuals or firms allegedly violated the antifraud or other provisions of the CEA.   Reparations cases are decided by Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) or Judgment Officers.  ALJs also decide administrative enforcement cases brought by the Division of Enforcement against persons or firms who have allegedly violated the CEA or Commission regulations.  Staff members of the Office of Proceedings:

receive and process customer claims;

prepare claims and forward them for hearing;

provide information about the complaint process;

provide information about the number of complaints filed against persons or firms and the outcome of those complaints;

maintain all reparations and administrative enforcement case dockets, including cases on appeal to the Commission and Federal courts; and

issue decisions and orders in reparations and administrative enforcement cases.

The Office handles three types of proceedings: Voluntary, Summary and Formal.  Voluntary Proceedings, which require a $50 filing fee, are the quickest reparations proceedings because they do not involve hearings or appeals. Judgment Officers decide Voluntary cases solely on the basis of the written submissions and exhibits provided by the parties.  Summary Proceedings, which require a $125 filing fee, resolve claims of $30,000 or less. A Judgment Officer conducts oral hearings by conference telephone call if a hearing is necessary. With a filing fee of $250, Formal Proceedings resolve claims of over $30,000 and involve an in-person hearing held before an ALJ at a convenient location.  Both Summary and Formal Proceedings result in appealable Initial Decisions that include factual findings and legal conclusions. The losing party in Summary and Formal Proceedings may appeal Initial Decisions, first to the Commission and then to a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Office of Proceedings maintains a current Administrative Sanctions in Effect List and Reparations Sanctions in Effect List.  The Administrative Sanctions in Effect List contains the names of firms and individuals who currently have registration and trading sanctions in effect as a result of administrative and statutory disqualification proceedings.  The Reparations Sanctions in Effect List contains the names of individuals or firms that have not paid awards levied against them as a result of reparations proceedings and therefore, their trading privileges on any futures market are suspended, as well as their registration.  The Office makes the lists available to the public, the commodity exchanges, the NFA, the National Association of Securities Dealers, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

In FY 2000, the Office of Proceedings responded to approximately 13,500 telephone inquiries, received 125 complaints and forwarded 102 complaints for hearing.   The ALJs issued decisions in 34 administrative enforcement proceedings, and the ALJs and Judgment Officers closed a total of 141 reparations cases.

The following statistics reflect the status of reparations complaints and administrative enforcement cases at the end of FY 2000:

Reparations Complaints

FY 1999

FY 2000

Complaints pending beginning of fiscal year

32

39

Complaints filed or reinstated

192

125

Complaints dismissed or settled

46

25

Complaints forwarded for all types of proceedings

139

102

Complaints pending end of fiscal year

39

37


Enforcement Cases

FY 1999

FY 2000

Cases pending beginning of fiscal year

25

21

Cases received for adjudication(a)

26

47

Cases settled

4

10

Decisions issued

26

34

Cases pending end of fiscal year

21

24

Reparations Cases

FY 1999

FY 2000

Cases pending beginning of fiscal year

   106

89

Cases received for all types of proceedings(b)

147

116

Cases dismissed for cause

   7

8

Cases settled

91

83

Cases disposed of by default

  9

7

Cases disposed of by initial decision

57

43

Total cases closed

164

141

Cases pending end of fiscal year

  89

64

(a)   Includes remands and exchange cases forwarded from the Commission to an ALJ for review.

(b)  Includes cases forwarded for adjudication, severed cases, remands and motions for reconsideration.