The campaign succeeded in 2004 when the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act was passed and it came into operation in 2005. For details of this campaign
Pursuant to the new legislation, the Singapore Mediation Centre set up a panel of adjudicators to adjudicate on claims for payment in 2005. Eric Ng is now an [adjudicator] accredited with the Singapore Mediation Centre. In his capacity as adjudicator, he has presided over numerous claims brought by parties in the construction industry. This is over and above the numerous cases where Eric represented claimants or respondents in adjudications under this legislation.
In 2015, our lawyer was the adjudicator in SOP AA 188/2015 where he was faced with a problem posed by three contract documents A, B and C. It transpired that document A was a tender document. Document B was a summary of negotiations which over-rode the tender document. But document C was the terms of contract similar to document A and last to be signed. Document B and C contradicted each other on the permissible date for claims under the contract. Our adjudicator held that document B prevailed because it was the later negotiated document.
Unfortunately, the High Court judge did not agree and set aside his determination.
On appeal, the Court of Appeal in Grouteam v UES Holding held that the High Court judge was wrong. Instead, the Court of Appeal vindicated our adjudicator’s decision and reinstated the determination. The crux of the matter was this — even though document C was signed later than document B, nevertheless it was a reproduction of an earlier document in a tender. The parties must have intended document B to over-ride the earlier document in the tender. This decision shows how interpretation of contract documents can be a tricky matter that may stump even a High Court judge.”