The Registry of Societies (ROS) administers the Societies Act and Regulations. The ROS is currently a unit under the Ministry of Home Affairs and is located at the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) Building.
A society is defined in the Societies Act as a club, company, partnership or association of 10 or more persons, whatever its nature or object, and not already registered under any other law.
The role of the ROS is to:
- Administer the Societies Act & Regulations
- Establish and administer a repository of documents and information submitted by registered societies and provide access to the public to such documents and information
The ROS performs the following five main operational functions:
- Processing applications for registration of new societies;
- Processing applications for change of name, place of business, amendments to rules and use of symbols by registered societies,
- De-register societies which become defunct or inactive,
- Dissolving societies which wish to wind-up voluntarily; and
- Ensuring that registered societies meet the statutory requirements under the Societies Act and regulations
The earliest piece of legislation relating to societies was the Dangerous Societies Suppression Ordinance, 1869. The Ordinance was repealed in 1889. In its place, the Societies Ordinance was enacted, which provided for the registration and regulation of societies. Shortly after Singapore's independence, the Societies Ordinance was repealed and in 1967, the new Societies Act was enacted.
This article was written by Roy Tan.