As part of the Obama Administration's plans for sweeping financial regulation overhaul, the US Treasury Department announced today the delivery of proposed legislation that would beef up the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) authority to protect investors. The legislation establishes standards for anyone who provides investment advice relating to the purchase of securities, improves the timing and quality of disclosures and requires greater accountability from securities professionals. The legislation, called the Investor Protection Act of 2009, would also establish a permanent Investor Advisory Committee "to keep the voice of investors present at the SEC." It would also expand protection for whistleblowers, giving the SEC the authority to establish a fund to pay individuals that come forward with evidence of securities law violations. "Currently, the SEC has the authority to compensate sources that provide evidence leading to a successful insider trading cases; that authority should be extended to other types of securities law violations," the Treasury said in a press release. The legislation can be read here. Write to Diana Golobay.