Amending the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act
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About the project

The Singapore Academy of Law’s Law Reform Committee proposed various amendments to the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Chapter 30B, 2006 Revised Edition) to reduce uncertainties that had mired the operation of the Act. The suggested amendments were directed at simplifying and clarifying the basic processes of the Act, the objective being to reduce the cost and time associated with compliance.

Project status: Completed

  • The report was published in September 2015.
  • The report was cited by the Court of Appeal in Grouteam Pte Ltd v UES Holdings Pte Ltd [2016] SGCA 59, [2016] 5 Singapore Law Reports [SLR] 1011 at paragraph 70, the Court commenting: “To the extent that improvements are being considered to clarify the operation of the Act, in particular, with a view to reducing the costs incurred in the dispute resolution process set out therein, we welcome this.” It was also referred to by a Registrar of the High Court in FT Plumbing Construction Pte Ltd v Authentic Builder Pte Ltd [2018] SGHCR 3 at paragraph 2, and by the Court of Appeal again in Comfort Management Pte Ltd v OGSP Engineering Pte Ltd [2018] SGCA 9, [2018] 1 SLR 979 at paragraph 48.
  • The report was mentioned in the speech of the Minister of State for National Development during the Second Reading of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment (Amendment) Bill 2018 (Bill No 38/2018; archived here) on 2 October 2018. In the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment (Amendment) Act 2018 (No 47 of 2018) that was enacted the same day and given Presidential assent on 31 October 2018, the following recommendations in the report were adopted or considered:
    • The report recommended doing away with the dichotomy between a claim situation where a response amount has been accepted, and where the amount has been disputed or where no payment response is issued: see paragraphs 27 and 31(b). Parliament added section 12(2A) to the Act which states that “a claimant is considered to dispute a payment response if the claimant does not in writing accept the payment response”.
    • The report recommended modifying the limitation period for claims from six years to (1) 12 months from the time when the construction work to which the claim relates was last carried out; or (2) three months from the date when the last portion of the retention money is due to be released or when the performance bond should have been discharged or when the security deposit is refunded to the contractor: see paragraph 45. Parliament decided that a 30-month limitation period was more appropriate: see section 10(2) of the Act.
    • The report recommended service of documents by email should be permitted only if the parties have agreed to this: see paragraph 63. Parliament decided to allow service by email in all situations, and by other electronic methods if consent is given for such methods to be used: see sections 37(1)(d) and (e) of the Act.
    • The report recommended that both parties (rather than only the respondent) should be entitled to apply for an adjudication review, and that the review adjudicator or panel should be able to review all matters in the adjudication application and response rather than only the issues that a party submits for review: see paragraph 70. Parliament agreed that a claimant should be able to seek a review if the claimed amount exceeds the adjudicated amount by a certain prescribed amount (see section 18 of the Act), but did not implement the latter recommendation.
    • The report recommended that the courts should be able to remit an adjudication determination to an adjudicator or to set aside an adjudication determination in part: see paragraph 71. This was accepted by Parliament: see sections 27(8) and (9) of the Act.
    • The report recommended that an authorized nominating body should be empowered to reappoint an adjudicator in some circumstances, such as death, illness or disablement of an adjudicator, or a conflict of interest situation arising: see paragraph 76. This was accepted by Parliament: see sections 14A and 18A of the Act.

Areas of law

Building and construction law


Report of the Law Reform Committee on Enforcement of Foreign Judgments

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Last updated 15 May 2019