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Singapore's MAS moves primary source of Regulations to the web

BIScom Subsection: 
Editorial Staff

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has made a surprising change to the way in which Regulations are published, making the MAS website, and not paper documents, the source of record.


In exercise of the powers conferred by section 82 of the Trust Companies Act, the Monetary Authority of Singapore makes the following Regulations:

Citation and commencement

1. These Regulations are the Trust Companies (Amendment) Regulations 2018 and come into operation on 14 August 2018.

Amendment of regulation 24

2. Regulation 24(1) of the Trust Companies Regulations (Rg 4) is amended by deleting the words “in the Schedule” in sub‑paragraph (a ) and substituting the words “on the Authority’s website at http://www.mas.gov.sg”.

Deletion of Schedule

3. The Schedule to the Trust Companies Regulations is deleted.

Made on 6 August 2018."

Commentary: one has to ask whether a website should be considered the definitive text of law. It can be argued that law, including regulations, changes and that when disputes arise, it is the version in force at the time the conduct occurred rather than the version at the time action is taken which determines how and even where the dispute is handled. Unless there is a clear archive (which is administratively complex and likely to be prone to errors) this cannot be achieved with documents that are solely available on-line.

The question is not whether law and regulations should be available on-line and kept up to date : it is highly desirable that they should be, in both national languages and in English. However, whether that on-line version which, as the Singapore government found out is never secure, should be the primary source is far less unequivocal.