CFTC’s Division of Enforcement Issues First Public Enforcement Manual


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CFTC’s Division of Enforcement Issues First Public Enforcement Manual

May 11, 2019

CFTCWashington, DCThe Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Enforcement (DOE) published its Enforcement Manual (Manual) today. This is the first issuance of a public Manual by DOE. The Manual provides an overview of the CFTC and DOE, and it establishes certain general policies and procedures that guide the work of DOE staff in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting violations of the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) and the CFTC Regulations.

The Manual serves as a general reference for DOE staff in the investigation and prosecution of potential violations of the CEA and CFTC regulations. It also provides the general public with information about DOE’s operations with the intent to increase transparency, certainty, and consistency, and, more generally, to advance the rule-of-law principles that underpin all DOE and CFTC enforcement actions.

James McDonald, CFTC’s Head of Enforcement
James McDonald, CFTC’s Head of Enforcement

“The publication of the Enforcement Manual is part of a broader agency effort to advance policy-neutral reforms designed to make us better regulators,” said Enforcement Director James McDonald. “Our Manual aims to increase the level of clarity and transparency in our work. Clarity and transparency in our policies should promote fairness, increase predictability, and enhance respect for the rule of law.  We expect the publication of our Manual to advance these goals going forward.” 

Enforcement Chief Counsel Gretchen Lowe commented, “The Enforcement manual is intended to be a useful guide for the Enforcement staff in their work dedicated to the mission of the Division and the Commission in investigating and prosecuting violations of the CEA and Regulations. By sharing this manual today, it may facilitate a better understanding and give perspective about the Division efforts to meet that mission”

DOE’s Office of Chief Counsel prepared the Manual and it reflects the views and policies of DOE and does not necessarily reflect the position or views of the CFTC or any of the individual Commissioners.  DOE is also not intending to waive any applicable privileges or protections in the publication of the Manual.  The Manual also is not intended to, does not, and may not be relied upon to create any rights, substantive or procedural, enforceable by any party in any matter, civil or criminal.  The Manual will be periodically revised and updated.

The Manual is available on the CFTC’s website ( and is linked on the DOE’s webpage at DOE Enforcement Manual.

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