Release: 5597-09
For Release: January 14, 2009

CFTC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Amendments to the Definition of “Public Director”

Washington, D.C. – The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) announced today that it is publishing a Request for Comments on proposed amendments to the definition of “public director” contained in its acceptable practices for Section 5(d)(15) (Core Principle 15) of the Commodity Exchange Act.

“The acceptable practices for Core Principle 15 and a workable definition of ‘public director’ are vital to designated contract markets as they manage and avoid potential conflicts of interest,” said CFTC Acting Chairman Walter L. Lukken. “Ensuring that boards of exchanges have strong, independent voices will lead to improved governance and self-regulatory oversight of our futures markets. I am thankful that the Commission has unanimously agreed to move forward with this important and long-overdue proposal.”

The proposed amendments bring further clarity to the existing definition of public director in the acceptable practices, and will thereby facilitate implementation of the acceptable practices’ three operating provisions—boards of directors composed of at least 35% public directors, board-level regulatory oversight committees consisting exclusively of public directors, and disciplinary panels including at least one public person—by all designated contract markets. In the Request for Comments, the Commission notes its strong and continued support for these operating provisions.

The Commission also notes that the acceptable practices for Core Principle 15 remain under a previously published stay pending the amended definition of “public director” becoming final, and that previously proposed amendments to the definition are withdrawn.

The Request for Comments will appear in the Federal Register shortly. Commissioners Jill E. Sommers and Bart H. Chilton wrote concurring statements.

Media Contact
R. David Gary

Last Updated: January 14, 2009