National Science and Technology Board Act

(Original Enactment: Act 24 of 1990)

(1st March 1991)
An Act to establish the National Science and Technology Board and for matters connected therewith.
[11th January 1991]
Short title
1.  This Act may be cited as the National Science and Technology Board Act.
2.  In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires —
“Board” means the Science and Technology Board established under section 3;
“Council” means the Science Council of Singapore constituted under the repealed Science Council of Singapore Act [Cap. 287];
“member” means a member of the Board and includes the Chairman and the Deputy Chairman;
“chief executive officer” means the chief executive officer appointed under section 14 and includes any temporary chief executive officer of the Board.
Establishment of the National Science and Technology Board
3.  There shall be established a body to be known as the National Science and Technology Board which shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal and shall, by that name, be capable of —
(a)suing and being sued;
(b)acquiring, owning, holding and developing or disposing of property, both movable and immovable; and
(c)doing and suffering such other acts or things as bodies corporate may lawfully do and suffer.
Constitution of Board
4.—(1)  The Board shall consist of —
(a)a Chairman;
(b)a Deputy Chairman; and
(c)not less than 8 and not more than 20 other members.
(2)  The First Schedule shall apply to the Board, its members and proceedings.
Functions of Board
5.  The functions of the Board are to —
(a)encourage and promote research and development in science and technology;
(b)co-ordinate the establishment and development of research institutes and other facilities connected with science and technology;
(c)undertake programmes and provide funds to promote and facilitate scientific and technological research and development in both the private and public sectors;
(d)assess scientific and technological manpower needs and engage in programmes for developing such manpower;
(e)undertake exchanges and joint programmes with other national and international organisations connected with science and technology; and
(f)promote activities to increase public awareness on the importance of science and technology.
Powers of Board
6.—(1)  The Board shall have power to do all things that are necessary or convenient to be done for or in connection with the performance of its functions and, in particular, may —
(a)appoint committees consisting of persons who may or may not be members of the Board and delegate to the committees such of its powers and functions as it may determine;
(b)form or participate in the formation of a company or enter into any joint venture or partnership for the purposes of this Act;
(c)provide scholarships and training grants for the development of manpower in the fields of science and technology;
(d)grant loans or advances to, or subscribe to stocks, shares, bonds or debentures of new enterprises based on technology;
(e)provide financial support for research institutes and specific research and development projects undertaken by the private and public sectors;
(f)promote or undertake publicity in any form;
(g)publish or sponsor the publication of periodicals, booklets and other written materials;
(h)receive donations and contributions from any source and raise funds by all lawful means; and
(i)do anything incidental to any of its powers.
(2)  The Board may, with the approval of the Minister, make rules to regulate the proceedings of the Board and generally to carry out the purposes of this Act.
(3)  The Board may, in addition to the powers vested in it by subsection (1), exercise such other powers as the Minister may authorise the Board in writing to exercise.
7.  For the purpose of enabling the Board to carry out its functions under this Act, the Minister may from time to time make grants-in-aid to the Board of such sums of money as the Minister may determine out of moneys to be provided by Parliament.
Power to borrow
8.  The Board may from time to time for the purposes of this Act raise loans from the Government or, with the consent of the Minister, from any other source.
Bank accounts and application of revenue
9.—(1)  The Board shall open and maintain an account or accounts with such bank or banks as the Board thinks fit; and every such account shall be operated upon as far as practicable by cheque signed by such person or persons as may from time to time be authorised in that behalf by the Board.
(2)  The moneys of the Board shall be applied only in payment or discharge of the expenses, obligations and liabilities of the Board and in making any payments that the Board is authorised or required to make.
10.  Moneys belonging to the Board may be invested in such securities as trustees may by any written law be authorised to invest or, with the written approval of the Minister, in any other securities or investments.
Annual report
11.  The Board shall, as soon as practicable after the end of each financial year, submit to the Minister an annual report on the activities of the Board during that financial year and the Minister shall cause a copy of every such report to be presented to Parliament.
12.  The financial provisions set out in the Second Schedule shall apply to the Board.
Directions by Minister
13.—(1)  The Minister may give to the Board such directions, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, as to the exercise and performance by the Board of its functions under this Act, and the Board shall give effect to such directions.
(2)  The annual report for any year shall set out any directions given by the Minister under subsection (1) and shall contain a report of any action taken by the Board during that year pursuant to the directions.
Appointment of chief executive officer and other employees
14.—(1)  The Board shall, with the approval of the Minister, appoint a chief executive officer on such terms and conditions as it may determine.
(2)  The chief executive officer shall —
(a)be known by such designation as the Board may determine;
(b)be responsible to the Board for the proper administration and management of the functions and affairs of the Board in accordance with the policy laid down by the Board ; and
(c)not be removed from office without the consent of the Minister.
(3)  If the chief executive officer is temporarily absent from Singapore, or is temporarily unable to perform his duties by reason of illness or otherwise, another person may be appointed by the Board to act in the place of the chief executive officer during any such period of absence from duty.
(4)  The Board may from time to time appoint such other officers, employees and agents as it thinks fit for the effective performance of its functions on such terms and conditions as it may determine.
Protection from personal liability
15.  No suit or other legal proceedings shall lie personally against any member, officer or employee of the Board or other person acting under the direction of the Board for anything which is in good faith done or intended to be done in the execution or purported execution of this Act.
Public servants
16.  All members, officers and employees of the Board shall be deemed to be public servants for the purposes of the Penal Code [Cap. 224].
Preservation of secrecy
17.—(1)  Except for the purpose of the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions or when lawfully required to do so by any court or under the provisions of any written law, no member, officer, employee or agent of the Board shall disclose any information relating to the affairs of any person which has been obtained by the member, officer, employee or agent in the performance of his duties or the exercise of his functions.
(2)  Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
Transfer of property, employees, etc.
18.  The Third Schedule shall have effect for the purpose of the transfer to the Board of the property, employees, rights and liabilities of the Council and for other transitional purposes specified therein.
Symbol of Board
19.—(1)  The Board shall have the exclusive right to the use of such symbol or representation as it may select or devise and thereafter display or exhibit in connection with its activities or affairs.
(2)  Any person who uses a symbol or representation identical with that of the Board, or which so resembles the Board’s symbol or representation as to deceive or cause confusion, or to be likely to deceive or to cause confusion, shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $2,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months or to both.