Corporate Governance

Corporate Governance of SSA

Singapore Soka Association (SSA) was incorporated on January 6, 1972 under the Societies Act (Chapter 311) of The Statutes of the Republic of Singapore. In 1985, the Charities Act (Chapter 37) was introduced which legislated that organisations established for purposes which are exclusively charitable according to Singapore law, be registered as charities and accordingly governed under the Act’s requirements. By definition, all religious organisations are considered charitable organizations. SSA was registered as Charity under the Charities Act on October 10, 1985.

Annually, the Association 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 and the Charities Act.

For more details on this, please refer to SSA’s Organisation Chart.

Management of Association’s Affairs

The affairs of Singapore Soka Association are managed by a Board of Management that is elected at the Association’s Annual General Meeting that is held in April each year. The election and appointment of office holders are done in accordance with the Constitutional provision of the Association. Information on officials is annually filed with the Registry of Societies under the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Charities Office under the Ministry of Community Development Youth and Sports.

Read the Singapore Soka Association Constitution in full.

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.

Find out more about SSA’s Management Committee for the term 2016/2017.

You can also download and view the latest SSA Annual Report for 2015.

Funding

SSA is funded largely by the voluntary donations of her members. Donations are received all year round via walk-in and mail-in channels as well as direct banking instructions by some members. Annually, the Association organises a one-month donation exercise for members who wish to contribute under the Member Contribution Fund sustained contribution programme.

Other important sources of income for SSA include:

  • Income generated from sales of Buddhist and related literature and religious accessories;
  • Income from subscriptions to SSA periodicals, the Creative Life monthly magazine and the SSA Times newsletters;
  • Income from the lease of niches at the Soka Columbarium; and
  • Fund-raising from in-house events, such as musical concerts

How the Funds are Used to Benefit the Members

The funds of the Association are used essentially to:

  • Support the operations of the Association at its headquarters and also its seven community Soka Centres. These expenditure include maintenance and utilities, upkeep and improvement to facilities to benefit the members, and human resources costs.
  • Organise events and activities for the membership, in line with the objectives of the Association. These include the Buddhist religious services and activities, events in the monthly calendar and special and commemorative occasions.
  • Organise and run community programmes to benefit both the membership and the community at large. These programmes are in fulfilment of SSA’s social mission, and are in accordance with commitment of SSA in advancing the three pillars of peace, culture and education.

You can view the Financial Statements for the Year 2015.

Internal Controls and Risk Management

SSA has in place internal controls and risk management policies in the use and management of its finances. The annual budget and spending is regulated in accordance with the SSA Reserves Policy. Surplus funds are placed with reputed financial institutions, and over various tenure periods, in accordance with the Association’s Investment Policy. An Internal Audit Committee and a team of internal auditors comprising non-executive and non-management personnel conduct sample assessments of internal controls processes and submit reports to the Management.

The Association also engages the service of external audit firms that are approved by the Charities Office to audit the financials of the Association. The audited financial statements are reported to the General Meeting for the Meeting’s approval and adoption. The Financial Statements are then filed annually to the Registry of Societies and the Charities Office.

Best Practices in Governance

Annually, SSA conducts evaluation on its Board governance in accordance with the prescribed checklists required by the Commissioner of Charities. SSA then files its declaration of compliance with the Charities Office on the Charities’ web portal. This information is accessible to the public online.