Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol

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Infrastructure needs in Asia are on the rise, with a projected US$1.7 trillion (S$2.3 trillion) to be spent on infrastructural projects per year from 2016 to 2030 (source: Asian Development Bank. Meeting Asia’s Infrastructure Needs. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank, 2017). Often, when issues arise from such projects, different parties have differing opinions for resolving the issues and technical specialists’ knowledge is required. If such issues are not managed well, this could result in increased costs or project delays.

On 23 October 2018, the “Singapore Infrastructure Dispute-Management Protocol” (“SIDP”) was launched following the deliberations of a Working Group convened by the Ministry of Law which included SMC.

SMC is named as one of the Authorised Appointing Bodies (AAB) under the SIDP to lend strong institutional support to this initiative.

As an AAB under the SIDP, SMC will provide parties with access to a panel of highly-regarded professionals with diverse expertise and experiences who may be engaged as Dispute Board (DB) members; parties will also have access to other value-added services which include the appointment of DB members, the provision of meeting facilities, escrow services, and administrative services. SMC will also ensure that the costs of the DB are well-contained.

One key feature of the SIDP is dispute avoidance. It is thus strongly recommended that the SIDP be adopted from the start of the project, as a collaborative tool, to enable early and efficient management of differences and disputes. The SIDP sets out a carefully-tailored procedure for the appointment and involvement of a DB. The DB will follow the project from start to finish and assist in managing potential disputes through a range of dispute avoidance and dispute resolution processes such as mediation, rendering an opinion and/or making a formal determination.

SIDP is designed and recommended for construction or infrastructure projects of more than S$500m in value and can be easily incorporated into any construction or infrastructure contract using the standard clause.

For enquiries on the SIDP, please contact