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Ministry of Education (SkillsFuture Division), SkillsFuture Singapore (Strategic Planning Division)
Consultation Period:
08 Jul 2022 - 05 Aug 2022
Status:
Closed

Detailed Description

Public Consultation on Amendments to SSG Act and SDL Act

Aim

1. The Ministry of Education (MOE) and SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (SSG) are amending the SkillsFuture Singapore Agency (“SSG”) Act 2016 and the Skills Development Levy (“SDL”) Act 1979 to strengthen the regulatory powers of SSG over errant entities and persons against abuse and misrepresentation of SSG funding. 

2. We invite you to provide feedback on the proposed policy changes that would be further considered in the amendments to the SSG (Amendment) Bill 2022 and SDL (Amendment) Bill 2022. 

Background

3. To support more individuals and employers in lifelong learning, the government has invested more funding support for Continuing Education and Training (CET) over the years. Amidst this growing CET landscape, it is important that our regulatory framework remains effective in deterring misrepresentations and abuses of SSG funding and schemes, so that individuals and employers maintain high confidence in the training and adult education sector. 

4. Currently, SSG takes action against errant parties through termination of the contract (and funding thereof) and by seeking recovery of any wrongful funds disbursed through civil action. The intent is to reinforce this to better deter and take enforcement action against funding misrepresentations and/or abuses. Examples of misrepresentation include training providers and/or their marketing agents misleading individuals, by falsely indicating that a course was accredited by SSG, or falsely indicating that a course was free when the fee would need to be borne by individuals’ SkillsFuture Credit.

Scope of Proposed Amendments

(A) Expand coverage of activities regulated

5. The proposed amendments to the SSG Act will enhance SSG’s regulatory oversight and provide SSG with more investigative powers. They will provide SSG with powers to take punitive actions against errant entities and persons who: (i) abuse SSG funding; and (ii) misrepresent SSG’s funding and schemes.  These powers will allow SSG to direct errant parties to take remedial actions where necessary, such as to refund monies to affected individuals and to return disbursed funding to SSG.  

(B) Expand investigative powers

6. The proposed amendments would include allowing SSG to investigate persons who do not directly receive funding from SSG, such as marketing agents involved in false advertising, and exercise a broader set of investigative powers such as conducting searches for documents as evidence, requiring evidence of identity, and requiring attendance for investigations. 

7. Under the SDL Act, SSG is the administrator of the Skills Development Fund (SDF). In tandem with the proposed amendments of SSG Act, SDL Act will be similarly amended in the applicable provisions to cover grants drawn from the SDF to support CET funding.  

(C) Alignment of definitions

8. To improve clarity, we will also make amendments to the SSG Act and SDL Act to refine the coverage of funding under the SSG Act and amend the definition of “remuneration” in the SDL Act to align with the definition of “wages” in the CPF Act. The amendment to the definition will clarify that the computation of SDL and CPF liabilities should use the same basis of monthly income. This avoids any confusion, thus ensuring ease of compliance.

9. Full details can be found in the table of policies. 

Period of Consultation and Guidelines 

10. We would appreciate your feedback on the proposed policy changes. Respondents are requested to:

a. Identify yourself and/or your organisation so that we may follow up with you to clarify your feedback if needed;

b. Provide your feedback at the link provided;

c. Keep your comments clear and concise. 

11. Please note that the table of policies is released only for the purpose of consultation and does not represent the final legislation amendments. 

12. The table of polices is available for public consultation from 8 July 2022 to 5 August 2022. We regret that comments received after 5 August 2022 will not be considered. 

Feedback Channel

13. Please submit your feedback via this link or click the button below. 

Summary of Response

14. A summary of the main comments received, and MOE/SSG’s responses will be published on the REACH portal and SSG’s website, by September 2022. The identity of respondents will not be disclosed. 

Documents to Download

15. For reference, please download the relevant documents for this public consultation below.

16. The SSG and SDL Acts can be accessed at https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SSAA2016 and https://sso.agc.gov.sg/Act/SDLA1979 respectively. The Table of Polices can be accessed via REACH at this link.