2 The PLUS Project’s aim is to ensure that our written laws remain drafted and presented in a manner that is clear, readable and more easily understood by the people to whom the laws apply. The scope of the PLUS Project includes modernising the text and design of Singapore’s written laws and enhancing the features of the Singapore Statutes Online .
Please click here for AGC’s media statement on 8 November 2013 on the PLUS Project.
3 From 12 November to 12 December 2013, AGC conducted an online public survey to better understand the needs, preferences and expectations of the readers of Singapore’s legislation and users of the Singapore Statutes Online (“SSO”). The survey covered different aspects of the drafting and presentation of legislation, including the use of plain English, aids to understanding legislation, amending language, and the layout and design of printed and online versions of legislation.
4 A total of 1,058 respondents participated in the survey, of which ―
- about 70% were people without legal training;
- about 60% were young adults (between 20 to 39 years of age);
- about 46% were from the public sector; and
- about 34% were the general public.
5 The PLUS survey findings are published at http://www.agc.gov.sg/What_We_Do/Legislation_and_Law_Reform_Division/PLUS.aspx .
Please click here for AGC’s media statement on 28 February 2014 on the PLUS public survey results.
6 Since 2014, the Legislation Division of AGC has been progressively implementing changes in law drafting and related areas in response to the PLUS public survey.
The Legislation Division of AGC is Singapore’s central law drafting office. For more information on the work of the Legislation Division, please click here .
7 Below are some of the PLUS Initiatives that have been implemented by the Legislation Division:
- New laws are now drafted in plain English as far as is possible ― this includes:
- writing in shorter sentences and simpler English, such as using “must” instead of “shall” to signify mandatory obligations, using “however” or “despite” instead of “notwithstanding”, and omitting words like “hereby”;
- adopting gender neutral terms;
- replacing Roman numerals with Arabic numerals; and
- breaking down provisions into parts to aid the readers.
- Bills tabled in Parliament are accompanied by a more detailed Explanatory Statement ― in appropriate cases, illustrations or descriptions are given on how the proposed new laws/changes to laws would work.
- The design and features of SSO have been enhanced to make Singapore’s written laws more accessible to the varied users of Singapore legislation:
2014 - 2015 Interim enhancements were made to SSO in response to the 2013 PLUS public survey feedback. Notable enhancements included:
- access to historical versions of legislation;
- access to Bills tabled in Parliament;
- access to PDF versions of legislation and Bills; and
- better printing options.
2016 Project started on complete overhaul of SSO to fully implement the 2013 PLUS public survey feedback. 2 Sep - 1 Oct 2016 A second PLUS public survey was conducted specifically to give users a say in the new design and features of the new SSO. 7 Jul 2017 A beta version of the new SSO was rolled out to give users time to transition to the new SSO and to also obtain users’ feedback on its features and functionalities.
- Pilot project embarked in July 2017, in support of parliamentary democracy, to make available to the Members of Parliament soft copies of the Act being amended with the amendments tracked.