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.

Year 2000 Preparations

The most significant project in the OED during FY 1999 was preparation for the Year 2000. OED staff in the Office of Information Resources Management (OIRM) ensured that the Commission's computers and systems, as well as the systems of other Federal agencies and providers with whom the Commission maintains links, are Year 2000 compliant. OIRM also created an inventory of all computer hardware and commercial off-the-shelf software, as well as all application software developed by CFTC staff outside OIRM, to evaluate its compliance with Year 2000 and make changes as necessary. In addition, OIRM is responsible for developing and testing its software for Year 2000 compliance and outlining contingency plans for the mission-critical systems for market surveillance and exchange data.

As Year 2000 approaches, the immediate office of the Executive Director and OIRM developed a "Business Continuity Contingency Plan" (Plan) outlining the measures CFTC will take to prepare for possible Year 2000 problems. The Plan involved requests to Congress for additional funding for conversion of financial management software to a Year 2000 compliant system. OED staff worked with CFTC landlords to ensure that the physical plants and supporting systems will be operational on January 1, 2000. As part of the contingency plan, OIRM implemented remote access to the Commission's information systems for key staff at headquarters and in the New York and Chicago regional offices. To enhance remote access, OIRM increased the number of portable computers and associated equipment available to staff. Major utility suppliers in cities where CFTC has offices have completed Year 2000 testing and assured CFTC that they are compliant. OIRM also upgraded the telephone systems in all CFTC offices other than the New York office to be Year 2000 compliant and completed testing of network components and application tools for Year 2000 compliance. OIRM will upgrade the New York office telephone system in December 1999.

Intranet Development

Staff in the immediate office of the Executive Director worked with OIRM to make a CFTC Intranet available to agency staff. Using Internet technologies, the Intranet delivers essential information quickly and efficiently to CFTC staff nationwide. 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. OED also began issuing advisories and announcements on important administrative topics. OED provides the advisories and announcements to employees in print form and posts them to the Intranet. The Intranet continues to grow, providing a valuable resource to the CFTC.

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, updated the agency's Privacy Act systems of records and drafted notices of several new systems of records. OED also worked with the Office of General Counsel to draft proposed changes to the rules governing the reparations complaints process and oversaw other administrative improvements to the reparations program. 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.

Other OED Activities

OED staff examined ways to improve services to internal and external clients and presented the first OED Service Award for sustained excellent customer service to the agency. OED also coordinated comments to the National Futures Association (NFA) on its proposed changes to the NFA clearinghouse of disciplinary information. The CFTC provides information to NFA on reparations and enforcement proceedings. During FY 1999, NFA began making the clearinghouse information available through the Internet, and the Office of Proceedings began to develop information on the outcome of reparations complaint, which has not been included previously in the clearinghouse information.

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.

In FY 1999, OIRM modified the market surveillance system to use information from futures commission merchants on the option positions of large traders. Previously, the exchanges collected this information, then provided the information to CFTC. The system now delivers the information to the CFTC surveillance staff earlier and more reliably. CFTC will offer to provide the option information electronically to exchanges that are interested in and capable of receiving it. OIRM developed the requirements for a new trade practice investigation system that will improve the timeliness of information used by Commission staff to review floor trading patterns and the exchanges' trade monitoring programs. In addition, OIRM automated the collection of Division of Enforcement monthly statistical information, a component of the project to modernize support systems for the Division.

In other development projects, OIRM implemented a designation and rules tracking system to improve the ability of the staff of the Divisions of Trading and Markets and Economic Analysis to maintain information on the status of applications for designation as a contract market and exchange rule changes. OIRM also reengineered the administrative sanctions system and reparation sanctions system to allow future integration with other systems that track the status of administrative enforcement actions and reparation complaints. Working with the Division of Trading and Markets, OIRM continued to redesign the Commission's Exchange Database System (EDS). The new EDS will provide Commission employees with tools of increased sophistication to aid futures trading investigators in discerning patterns of trading that suggest potential violations, particularly violations that may be facilitated by the increased use of electronic trading systems.

OIRM created a new unit, Application Services, as a dedicated resource for end-user technical support to CFTC staff. Application Services provides workshops to enhance the use by CFTC staff of software products. In addition, the unit runs a Help Desk, provides individual tutoring and offers new employee orientation. The group also formed a Computer Technology Advisory Committee to elicit, review, and share ideas and methods that will lead to the best use of computer applications at CFTC.

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 1999, OFM revised the Commission's APP to reflect guidance from the General Accounting Office (GAO) and the Office of Management and Budget. In coordination with the immediate office of the Executive Director, OFM began tracking the APP through the agency's Quarterly Performance Review. In addition, OFM arranged a meeting between the Commission's Strategic Planning Task Force and GAO to discuss "best practices" in the Federal financial regulatory community in meeting the objectives of the Government Performance and Results Act.

OFM improved its procurement and accounting services during FY 1999 by, among other things, drafting a new procurement policy effective on October 1, 1999. OFM hired a new credit card company to manage its Government travel and purchase card program and monitor the small purchase transactions made by CFTC employees. OFM also hired a contracting specialist to oversee authorization of agency contracts, monitor contract performance and close out completed contracts. The contracting specialist conducted a thorough review of OIRM contracts during FY 1999. With OIRM, OFM arranged for the Department of the Interior to provide cross servicing of CFTC's mainframe Financial Management System.

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,

manage the agency's EEO and diversity programs,

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 1999, OHR implemented a new Alternative Dispute Resolution program that affords all CFTC staff the opportunity to resolve workplace issues at an early stage. OHR also conducted Sexual Harassment Awareness training in headquarters and the regional offices.

As part of the Commission's Diversity Initiative, OHR set up a summer honors program for second-year law students. Students involved in the program were assigned mentors, attended a speakers series, and participated in other events. In coordination with the Federal Women's Program Initiative, OHR helped establish a committee on the content and structure of a proposed Career Development Center. The committee conducted an employee survey and made recommendations connected with the relocation of the Learning Resources/Career Development Center to the Commission's Library.

In response to another Federal Women's Program Initiative, OHR offered courses in writing and in achieving goals to support staff. OHR established the Training Advisory Group that evaluated and developed a CFTC-wide training plan for FY 2000. The curriculum consists of two programs: the Industry/Legal/Technical Training Program, taught by in-house staff, includes 16 90-minute courses that are designed to provide employees with an in-depth knowledge of the Industry it regulates; the Management Training Program includes components on basic human resources knowledge and tools and on leadership effectiveness.

During FY 1999, OHR arranged for a nurse from the Public Health Service to conduct onsite periodic health screenings for Commission employees. OHR also contracted with Business Health Services to provide employee assistance services through an employee assistance program.

OHR improved service to the Commission's regional offices by conducting periodic teleconferences with regional managers and staff to address human resource concerns. In addition, the new Director of OHR visited all regional offices. OHR also began conducting exit surveys to gather information from departing employees. OHR also sent the surveys to employees who had left the agency within the last year. As a follow-up to the time and attendance audits conducted in FY 1998, OHR provided continued reviews and training of Commission timekeepers. Also during FY 1999, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducted a review to assess, with CFTC, how well OHR management activities comply with merit system principles and serve to attract, develop, and retain a qualified and representative workforce. OPM concluded that there were no regulatory violations and that the human resources programs were consistent with and supported the merit system principles, with only minor recommendations for improvement.

Office of Administrative Services

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

acquire office supplies and equipment,

maintain, repair, and dispose of equipment

manage telecommunications,

provide transportation,

ensure effective property management,

print and reproduce Commission materials, and

distribute mail.

In FY 1999, OAS developed the agency's first agency-wide acquisition plan for FY 1999 and FY 2000. This detailed assessment of organizational needs for services and equipment will help OAS plan and communicate its use of resources and ensure that the most pressing needs of the agency are met. OAS also developed and issued standards for the acquisition of office furniture and equipment. The policy identifies the basis for acquisitions and establishes an equitable approach to making decisions. In addition, OAS implemented a smoke-free workplace policy for headquarters and all regional CFTC offices. Finally, OAS improved emergency preparedness in the headquarters office by establishing an effective emergency team, issuing a new manual, testing all fire alarms and systems, and conducting evacuation drills.

Commission Library

The Commission Library services the information and research needs of the Commission. The Library's collection 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 will significantly improve the ability of the Library to serve its users by combining the periodical and book online catalogs and providing new search capabilities. Installation of the system will occur in FY 2000. In addition, the Library is adding the collections of the New York, Chicago and Los Angeles offices to the online catalog. The Library added the New York and Chicago collections during FY 1999 and will add Los Angeles in the early part of FY 2000. To provide the best service possible, the Library conducted a survey of Commission employees during FY 1999. As a result, the Library has discontinued several CD-ROM subscriptions and has prioritized requests for new purchases.

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 are, therefore, prohibited from trading on any futures market and suspended from 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 1999, the Office of Proceedings responded to approximately 14,000 telephone inquiries, received 192 complaints and forwarded 139 complaints for hearing. The ALJs issued decisions in 26 administrative enforcement proceedings, and the ALJs and Judgment Officers closed a total of 164 reparations cases.

The following statistics reflect the status of reparations complaints and administrative enforcement cases at the end of FY 1999:

Reparations Complaints

FY 1998

FY 1999

Complaints pending beginning of fiscal year

48

32

Complaints filed or reinstated

218

192

Complaints dismissed or settled

37

46

Complaints forwarded for all types of proceedings

197

139

Complaints pending end of fiscal year

32

39

Enforcement Cases

FY 1998

FY 1999

Cases pending beginning of fiscal year

22

25

Cases received for adjudication(a)

26

26

Cases settled

3

4

Decisions issued

20

26

Cases pending end of fiscal year

25

21

Reparations Cases

FY 1998

FY 1999

Cases pending beginning of fiscal year

90

106

Cases received for all types of proceedings(b)

207

147

Cases dismissed for cause

17

7

Cases settled

88

91

Cases disposed of by default

29

9

Cases disposed of by initial decision

57

57

Total cases closed

191

164

Cases pending end of fiscal year

106

89

(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.