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Parliamentary Replies

Impact of Personal Data Protection Act of Information Released by ACRA

07 Jul 2014

Date: 7 July 2014

Parliamentary Question by Ms Mary Liew:

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance in view of the Personal Data Protection Act, whether the Ministry will consider limiting the range of data disclosed by ACRA when the public pays for information relating to directors of registered companies so as to protect the personal information of these directors.

Reply by DPM and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam:

The Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) operates as a baseline legislation to safeguard consumers’ personal data from being misused by businesses. In instances where other written laws permit the collection, use or disclosure of personal data for sector-specific operational requirements, these laws will take precedence over the PDPA.

One such law is the ACRA Act, which specifies that a key function of ACRA is to make publicly available all information and documents filed with ACRA, including the particulars of company directors. Availability of such information helps to promote transparency and accountability in the corporate sector, and is consistent with international norms.

However, the Ministry of Finance reviewed the current practice of disclosing the residential addresses of directors and other individuals such as partners and sole proprietors. We intend to amend the Companies Act and other ACRA-administered Acts this year to allow alternate addresses to be reflected in public records. Safeguards will be put in place to minimise fraudulent reporting and filing of invalid addresses.

The Government will continue to regularly review the extent of company information that ought to be made available in the public interest.