【国会发言】新加坡国会:确保87000份遗漏了句子的电子持久授权书有效

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2024年4月3日,新加坡社会及家庭发展部长兼卫生部第二部长马善高在国会上关于电子持久授权书文件漏判情况的发言。

以下内容为新加坡眼根据国会英文资料翻译整理: 

乌莎拉妮(官委议员)问社会及家庭发展部长

(a)什么样的状况导致2023年10月电子持久授权书(LPA)文件被发现遗漏了句子?

(b)社会及家庭发展部是怎么发现这一疏漏的?

(c)社会及家庭发展部是否评估了由于这一遗漏给受权人和授权人带来的潜在损失或伤害?

(d) 将采取哪些措施确保此类遗漏不再发生?

 

陈有明医生(裕廊集选区)问社会及家庭发展部长:

(a)为什么在2023年10月之前没有发现电子持久授权书文件中所需句子的遗漏?

(b)缺少所需句子的电子持久授权书文件的法律影响是什么?

(c)在这些关键文件拟制过程数字化时,是否有检查流程?如校对、审核或终端用户体验及验证?

(d) 如果有,这些检查流程是由法律专业人员还是非专业人员进行的?

 

马善高:持久授权书是一份法律文件,赋予受权人在授权人失去心智能力时决定其个人福利、财产及其他事务的权力。在绝大多数情况下,财产如建屋发展局的组屋、私人公寓或有地房产,是根据《土地所有权法》注册的。转让这类财产的所有权无需契约。然而,对于未在《土地所有权法》下注册的财产,必须通过契约进行所有权转让。因此,无论财产类型如何,受权人都有权为确保授权人的权益而进行必要的交易。

 

在2022年推出电子持久授权书系统之前,持久授权书是纸质表格制作的。在纸质表格中,授权人签名的签名框包含“由授权人签署(或标记)并作为契约交付”的声明。《心智能力法案》第12A(1)(a)条旨在为电子持久授权书复制这一点,并规定电子记录必须在其表面清楚表明其为契约。

 

不幸的是,电子持久授权书与纸质表格不同,未包含这一必要声明。社会及家庭发展部对此遗漏和可能造成的不便表示歉意。我们已经修改了电子表格,因此2024年1月5日(含当日)之后制作的电子持久授权书包含了所需声明,并启动了必要的立法程序以追溯验证受影响的持久授权书。

 

社会及家庭发展部有内部的校对和审核流程。这些表格由公共监护人办公室的工作人员准备,并由公共监护人和一个独立的法律部门审核。然而,正如这个事件所示,没有任何检查系统可以确保100%准确。事实上,电子持久授权书表格经过了包括熟悉纸质表格的证书签发人(如律师或医生)在内的多个环节。尽管如此,花了近一年时间才有公众成员注意到差异并写信询问。

 

对于2022年11月14日至2024年1月4日期间制作的约87,000份电子持久授权书,其有效性存在一些不确定性。纸质持久授权书不受此遗漏的影响。社会及家庭发展部未发现受权人或授权人因该问题遭受的实际损害。我们也未发现任何第三方对这些权力的行使提出挑战。2024年4月2日在议会通过的《心智能力(修正)法案》将消除任何未来潜在的复杂情况。

 

新加坡国会:确保87000份遗漏了句子的电子持久授权书有效

以下是英文质询内容:

Ms Usha Chandradas asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) what were the circumstances that led to the omission of a sentence in the electronic Lasting Power of Attorney document which was discovered in October 2023; (b) how did the Ministry discover the omission; (c) whether the Ministry has assessed the potential loss or harm suffered by donees and donors as a result of this omission; and (d) what steps are being taken to ensure that such an omission does not take place again.

29 Dr Tan Wu Meng asked the Minister for Social and Family Development (a) why was the omission of the sentence as required by law in the electronic Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) document not discovered prior to October 2023; (b) what are the legal implications for such LPA documents without the required sentence; (c) whether there are process checks such as proofreading, vetting or end-user experience validation when such key documentary processes are digitalised; and (d) if so, whether such process checks are conducted by legally trained or laypersons.

Mr Masagos Zulkifli B M M: The Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which confers powers enabling a Donee to decide on the Donor’s personal welfare, property and other affairs, if the Donor loses mental capacity. In the vast majority of cases, the property, such as a Housing & Development Board flat, a private condominium apartment or a landed property, is registered under Land Titles Act. To transfer ownership of such a property, there is no need for a deed. However, for property not registered under the Land Titles Act, transfer of ownership must be made by way of a deed. Hence, an LPA is executed as a deed, so that irrespective of the type of property, the Donee has the power to make the necessary transactions for the benefit of the Donor.

Prior to the roll out of the electronic LPA system in 2022, LPAs were made through hardcopy forms. In the hardcopy form, the signature box where the Donor physically signs contains the statement “signed (or marked) and delivered as a deed by Donor”. Section 12A(1)(a) of the Mental Capacity Act is intended to replicate this for electronic LPAs and specifies that the electronic record must clearly state on its face that it is intended to be a deed.

Unfortunately, the electronic LPA, unlike the hardcopy form, did not contain this required statement. MSF apologises for this omission and for any inconvenience that this may have caused. We have revised the electronic form so that electronic LPAs made on or after 5 Jan 2024 include the required statement and have initiated the necessary legislative procedures to retroactively validate the affected LPAs.

MSF has an internal proofreading and vetting process. The forms were prepared by the staff of the Office of the Public Guardian and was vetted by the Public Guardian, as well as by a separate Legal Unit. Unfortunately, no system of process checks can be 100% accurate, as this case shows. In fact, the electronic LPA forms go through various parties, including certificate issuers who are people familiar with the hardcopy forms, such as lawyers or doctors. Despite this, it took nearly a year before a member of public noticed the difference and wrote in to enquire.

For the approximately 87,000 electronic LPAs made between 14 November 2022 and 4 January 2024, there is some uncertainty as to whether the LPAs were validly made. Hardcopy LPAs are not affected by this omission. MSF is not aware of any actual harm suffered by Donees or Donors. We are also not aware of any challenge to the exercise of those powers by third parties. The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill that was passed in Parliament on 2 Apr 2024 will remove any future potential complications.

 

FS丨编辑

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新加坡国会丨来源

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新加坡国会:确保87000份遗漏了句子的电子持久授权书有效

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新加坡国会:确保87000份遗漏了句子的电子持久授权书有效

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