Singapore construction industry calls for review of public sector contracts and payment rules

A crane operating at a construction site in front of a block in Sengkang on May 31.
A crane operating at a construction site in front of a block in Sengkang on May 31. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - The construction industry has called for the review of the Public Sector Standard Conditions of Contract (PSSCOC) and the Security of Payment (SOP) Act for a fairer allocation of risks to contractors and easier settlement of payment disputes.

The issues were highlighted by industry veteran, Dr Jimmy Koh, at a seminar organised by the Singapore Contractors Association Ltd (Scal) on Thursday (July 21), which was attended by some 250 participants.

Dr Koh spoke of the many and varied legislative requirements facing the local construction industry, including the Building Control Act, Workplace Safety & Health Act, Professional Engineers Act and Architects Act. Contractors also have to contend with contractual terms, in particular those specified in the PSSCOC, and other conditions of contract in private sector projects, he said.

"The construction industry is already beset with problems and disputes, such as unrealistic contract periods, tight manpower resources, delays, defects, payments and shifting of blame and responsibilities from one party to another," said Dr Koh.

Scal president Kenneth Loo said the association has set up two working groups comprising industry leaders to advocate and propose amendments to the PSSCOC and SOP Act to be submitted to the relevant authorities for their consideration.