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Goal Four Background and Context

Table Of Contents

The fulfillment of the Commission’s mission and the achievement of our goals are tied to a foundation of sound management and organizational excellence. This foundation is essential to support the work of the Commission in the Washington D.C. headquarters and three regional offices in Chicago, Kansas City, and New York. The Commission is committed to maintaining a well-qualified workforce supported by a modern support infrastructure that enables the Commission to achieve its programmatic goals. Building this foundation will require significant investment in people, management initiatives systems, and facilities.

Agency Direction. The Office of the Chairman and the Commissioners provide executive direction and leadership to the Commission—specifically, as it develops and adopts agency policy that implements and enforces the CEA and amendments to that Act, including the CFMA. This policy is designed to foster the financial integrity and economic utility of commodity futures and option markets for hedging and price discovery, to conduct market and financial surveillance, and to protect the public and market participants against manipulation, fraud, and other abuses. Executive leadership, in this regard, is the responsibility of the Chairman and Commissioners and includes the offices of the Chairman: the Office of External Affairs; the Secretariat; the Office of Inspector General; the Office of International Affairs; and the Office of Equal Employment Opportunity.

This past year, Congress enacted the CFTC Reauthorization Act of 2008 (CRA) as part of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (Farm Bill), making critical improvements to the CEA and the Commission’s authority. Specifically, the new legislation reauthorized the Commission through FY 2013, closed the so-called “Enron Loophole” by allowing enhanced Commission oversight of ECMs that trade contracts linked to regulated U.S. futures contracts, increased CFTC penalties for manipulation, clarified CFTC anti-fraud authority for off-exchange principal-to-principal energy trades, and clarified CFTC retail foreign currency fraud authority.

Human Resources Management. The Commission, with less than 500 employees, performs a vital role in protecting the integrity of the futures and option markets—one of America’s most innovative and competitive financial services industries. To maintain the U.S. role as the world leader in setting the standard for ensuring market integrity and protection for market users, the Commission must have sufficient resources to attract, train, promote, and retain a professional workforce.

The Commission continues to pursue human resource initiatives aimed at building, developing, and sustaining a knowledgeable, diverse, and productive workforce. The Commission aims to have a workforce whose size, skills, and composition react and adapt quickly to changes in the industry and technology and/or statutory or regulatory developments. The Commission has embarked on a comprehensive strategic management of human capital initiative with the goals of improving the ability to: 1) plan for anticipated change in workforce composition; 2) target and recruit employees to fill critical skill deficiencies; 3) target developmental resources; 4) identify and justify staff resources needed to perform statutory mandates; and 5) implement the Title V-exempt CT pay plan as mandated by Section 10702 of Public Law 107-171, the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) of 2002.

Information Technology Management. The Commission’s ability to fulfill its mission successfully depends on the collection, analysis, communication and presentation of information in forms useful to Commission employees and other interested parties, such as the industry it regulates, as well as other Federal, state, and international agencies with which we cooperate, the Congress, and the American public. A secure modern information technology infrastructure is a vital tool that enables the Commission to serve these stakeholders effectively. The Commission is making a concerted effort to use commercial best practices when developing and maintaining its information technology (IT) systems, applications and infrastructure, deploying a modern messaging, archiving, and document management system. The Commission’s FY 2010 Budget includes approximately $26 million for information technology. The resources will allow the Commission to make improvements in information technology by upgrading hardware and software, and by improving existing systems and developing new systems critical to maintaining adequate market oversight. See Appendix 3 for a more detailed summary of the information technology budget.

With the growth of trade and order volumes, the amount of reported trade and order data has grown considerably. Alongside that data growth, the Commission is frequently engaged in more complex and time sensitive information analysis efforts. These developments have led to a key technology initiative – the development of an information management architecture that transforms a growing data stream and a growing data analysis requirement into a Commission data environment. The initiative will examine current capabilities, emerging data needs, data governance, data organization, data privileges, and software capabilities to provide an information architecture roadmap in support of current mission requirements. The resulting solution will provide the CFTC with more effective information analysis capability by modernizing the Commission existing data management environment.

The Commission is also in the process of fully implementing the Trade Surveillance System (TSS), which is used for trade practice surveillance on new and emerging electronic exchanges. This new system uses state-of-the-art commercially available software to enhance trade surveillance capability over the innovative and ever-expanding electronic trading platforms. The new TSS will ultimately replace the current legacy surveillance systems that have limited capability in the newer dynamic marketplace where new trading techniques, such as inter-exchange trading, are commonplace practices.

Another significant project is the implementation of a Document Management System to modernize, centralize and automate the management of the Commission’s information resources. The Commission’s ability to fulfill its mission depends on the collection, analysis, communication and presentation of information in forms useful to Commission employees, the regulated industry, other Federal, state, and international agencies, the Congress, and the American public. When complete, the Document Management System will improve the Commission’s document management practices, technical solutions, and business process.

Management Operations. The Office of Management Operations provides support to Commission staff by ensuring the timely delivery of products and services, the safety and security of all employees, and operations and maintenance of the facilities at Headquarters and in the regional offices. Many improvements in critical administrative service areas have occurred during the last few years, including the development of a property management system for non-capitalized, sensitive items and better tools for planning and managing space requirements.

Financial Management. Improved accountability for performance, together with unquestionable fiscal integrity, serves as key mission delivery cornerstones. Effective financial management systems and services facilitate Commission performance, and earning unqualified audit opinions demonstrates financial accountability. Migration to Department of Transportation systems and services ensures that the financial resources entrusted to the Commission are well managed and judiciously deployed. The Budget and Performance and Accountability Report permit the public to see how well programs perform, and the cost incurred to achieve that performance.

Last Updated: September 23, 2009