The Soka Gakkai Singapore (SGS) has been established as a religious organization practising Nichiren Buddhism in Singapore since 1967. On January 6, 1972, SGS was officially registered under the Societies Act 1966 of the Statutes of Singapore under the Registry of Societies (ROS).
In 1985, the Charities Act 1994 was introduced which legislated that organisations established for purposes which are exclusively charitable according to the Singapore Law, be registered as charities and accordingly governed under the Act’s requirements. By definition, all religious organisations are considered charitable organisations. With this legislation, SGS was subsequently registered as a Charity under the Charities Act 1994 on October 10, 1985.
As SGS commemorates our 50th anniversary as a Buddhist organization in 2017, SGS deems it timely to make further enhancements to our Constitution to entrench our faith in Nichiren Buddhism so that we will not forget our spiritual ballast and values. The latest revision spells out our core statement of faith and religious identity and will serve as our important guide for all Buddhist activities moving forward.
Annually, the Organisation files annual returns comprising audited financial statements, annual reports, and information on elected officials of the Board of Management in compliance with the requirements of the Societies Act 1966 and the Charities Act 1994.
The affairs of Soka Gakkai Singapore are managed by a Board of Management that is elected at the Organisation’s Annual General Meeting that is held in May each year. The election and appointment of office holders are done in accordance with the Constitutional provision of the Organisation. Information on officials is annually filed with the Registry of Societies under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Charities Council under the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth.
The Management Committee headed by an elected Chairman undertakes the role of governance and oversees all related processes pertaining to the management and decisions on assets, funds and human resource. The Committee ensures that the organisation operates in compliance with the Constitutional Rules, legislation and rules of the authorities.
Best Practices in Governance
Annually, SGS conducts evaluation on its Board governance in accordance with the prescribed checklists required by the Commissioner of Charities. SGS then files its declaration of compliance with the Charities Council on the Charities’ web portal. This information is accessible to the public online.
Charities Governance Award
In February 2013, SGS was awarded Certificate of Commendation by the Charity Council, for participation in the inaugural Charity Governance Awards 2012. The organisation was commended for having in place a good standard of governance that is required of the charity sector.
SGS was one of the 52 charities successfully nominated. After a rigorous selection process and interview by a panel of judges, SGS emerged one of the four finalists for the category of medium-sized charities.
In the letter presenting the Certificate of Commendation, Chairman Ray Ferguson of the Award Sub-Committee conveyed the Council’s observations of Soka Gakkai Singapore made during the judging process:
“In comparison with other religious organizations, the Singapore Soka Association (SSA) has made considerable strides and is in the process of implementing many best practices. These include the segregation of roles between staff and Board. SSA has also developed a comprehensive training framework for their staff and Board, and actively seeks feedback on their performance through both formal and informal means.”
SGS was one of four case studies being cited in the Charity Governance Report 2013, and publicized on the Charity Portal. Among the good practices quoted of SGS, the Report gave mention to the annual Board Self-Evaluation Exercise that the Management Committee undertakes. Besides, SGS was cited for having clear segregation of roles between the Board and staff, and between the religious functions and governance duties. SGS’s structured training programme on leadership practices and communication skills was also cited as one of SGS’s best practices.
The Organisation’s experiences in good governance practices in financial management were shared at the 8th Charity Governance Seminar on February 5, 2013.
Personal Data Protection Policy
This Personal Data Protection Policy sets out the basis on which Soka Gakkai Singapore may collect, use, disclose or otherwise process personal data of our customers in accordance with the Personal Data Protection Act. This Policy applies to personal data in our possession or under our control, including personal data in the possession of organisations which we have engaged to collect, use, disclose or process personal data for our purposes.