Relook at other fee guidelines

  • AseanPlus News
  • Friday, 06 Apr 2007

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of the Singapore Medical Association, some other professional bodies here are looking at their own fee guidelines to see if they contravene the Competition Act.  

The Singapore Institute of Architects, for one, is concerned and “will be reviewing the current scale of fee guidelines and the implications of the Competition Act,” said its president Tai Lee Siang.  

The institute, to which membership is voluntary, last revised its fee guidelines in 2002.  

But the Act does not affect all professional bodies here.  

For instance, the Law Society – which has recommended charges for conveyancing work – is exempt because it is a regulatory body.  

Section 33, sub-section 4b of the Competition Act reads: “Nothing in this Part shall apply to any activity carried out by, any agreement entered into or any conduct on the part of any statutory body.”  

Accountants, too, have nothing to worry about – the Institute of Certified Public Accountants of Singapore is not exempt, but it does not issue guidelines anyway.  

The issue came under the spotlight recently when the SMA announced at its annual general meeting on Sunday that it was withdrawing its fee guidelines.  

It had been advised by its lawyers that such recommendations may be in breach of the competition code.  

Private doctors are now free to set their own rates, but they must let patients know how much they charge before treating them. – The Straits Times / Asia New Network  

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