print this page close this page

ABOUT GOVERNMENT RECORDS DATABASE

HOW DO I SEARCH FOR RECORDS?

You can search either using the basic or advanced search feature. A basic search is useful if you are starting out with your research and you would like to find as many records as possible that are relevant to a particular subject or topic. If you wish to define specific search parameters, please click on the 'Advanced Search' tab, where you can search for records by selecting a particular agency from the drop-down list. The Advanced Search will also allow you to search by using additional search parameters such as file reference number or Year.

Back to top

HOW DO I VIEW RECORDS?

For records where only the metadata is available on the database, you may make a request to view the record at the NAS Archives Reading Room. See here for details.

We do not provide original records for viewing as these are to be kept in a controlled and secured environment for long-term preservation and it is necessary to minimise handling and movements of these records.

Back to top

HOW DO I VIEW GOVERNMENT RECORDS?

Apart from Papers Presented to Parliament and those in the Singapore Policy History Project, government records can be viewed at the Archives Reading Room (ARR) at the National Archives of Singapore.

Please fill in this form and email it to nas@nlb.gov.sg. You will be contacted as to whether the requested government records have been released for viewing.

We do not provide original government records for viewing as these have to be kept in a climate controlled, secure environment with minimal handling and movement, for long-term preservation.

Back to top

HOW DO I VIEW GOVERNMENT RECORDS ON THE SINGAPORE POLICY HISTORY PROJECT SITE?

Please click this link to visit the Singapore Policy History Site.

Back to top

HOW DO I REQUEST COPIES OF RECORDS?

If you wish to request copies of records, please consult the staff at the Archives Reading Room. You may be required to seek permission from the transferring agency or other rights holders for viewing and/or reproduction.

Back to top

WITH REGARDS TO GOVERNMENT RECORDS WHICH REQUIRE WRITTEN PERMISSION FOR VIEWING, IS THERE A LIMIT TO THE NUMBER I CAN REQUEST?

With effect from 1 Feb 2017 due to increased demand, there is a limit of 20 government records per researcher per request. If you wish to view more than 20 government records, you may submit a new request after your first 20 government records have been processed or 12 weeks has passed, whichever comes first.

Back to top

CAN I VISIT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES OF SINGAPORE?

You are welcome to visit the Archives Reading Room of the National Archives of Singapore. NAS (including the ARR) will be closed for renovations from 30 September 2017 to end 2018. During this period, ARR services will continue to be provided at Level 11 of the National Library Building from 9 October 2017. For more information, please visit http://www.nas.gov.sg/Archives-Reading-Room

The address of the relocated ARR is:
Level 11
Lee Kong Chian Reference Library
National Library Building
100 Victoria Street
Singapore 188064
Directions to the National Library building can be found here.

Back to top

HOW DO I GIVE COMMENTS, COMPLIMENTS OR FEEDBACK?

You can give comments, compliment or feedback via the Contact Us section. Alternatively, you can also drop us an email at nas@nlb.gov.sg.

Back to top

ABOUT PAPERS PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT

HOW DO I SEARCH FOR PAPERS PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT?

If you are searching for Papers presented to Parliament, there are specific search fields for this series. This would be presented to you when you select the Series ‘Papers presented to Parliament’ under Advanced Search. The related fields would include : Sub-Series, Presented By and Date Range.

Back to top

HOW ARE PAPERS NUMBERED?

Using the Paper Number ‘Cmd. 2 of 2012’ as an example, there are 3 parts to a Paper Number :

Cmd. = Paper Category Code
(Other codes are : S.L. for Subsidiary Legislation; S. for Statutory Papers; Pres. Co. for Presidential Council Papers; Parl for Parliamentary Papers; Misc for Miscellaneous Papers)

2 = Running number within the same Paper Category

2012 = Year of Presentation

In the past, the Papers are sequentially numbered according to the Paper Category and this running number re-starts at the beginning of each calendar year. For example, the first 3 Command Papers presented in 2011 will be assigned the numbers : Cmd. 1 of 2011; Cmd. 2 of 2011 and Cmd. 3 of 2011 respectively. The first 3 Command Papers presented in 2012 will be assigned Cmd. 1 of 2012; Cmd. 2 of 2012 and Cmd. 3 of 2012 respectively.

Starting from 13th Parliament (from 14 Sep 2015), the running Paper Numbers will re-start only at the beginning of each Parliament for each Paper Category, but the Year will reflect the Year of Presentation. For example, if there is only 1 Command Paper presented in 2015 during the 13th Parliament, the Paper will be assigned the Paper Number : Cmd. 1 of 2015. The next 2 Command Papers which are presented in 2016 will be assigned Cmd. 2 of 2016 and Cmd. 3 of 2016 respectively, as it is still the 13th Parliament.

While transiting to the new 2015 numbering system, some Paper Numbers are duplicated in 2015. Example, Cmd. 1 of 2015 is duplicated on 2 different Papers which are presented in different Parliaments. As there are 2 Parliaments in 2015 (12th and 13th Parliaments), and with the change in numbering system, duplicate numbers happened.

To ensure that the right Paper has been retrieved, always check the Paper Title, Paper Number and Date Presented (Record Date).

Back to top

WHAT ARE PAPERS PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT?

The Series contains records that were formally presented to Parliament. Presentation of these records to Parliament demonstrates the accountability of the Government by keeping Members of Parliament updated on its activities as well as to provide information for decision-making.

Papers Presented are classified into one of these six categories: Command Paper, Parliamentary Paper, Statutory Paper, Subsidiary Legislation Paper, Presidential Council Paper and Miscellaneous Paper. They include annual reports of statutory boards, town councils and government-managed endowment funds, reports of Select Committees of Parliament, legislation, and Government White Papers.

Back to top

WHAT ARE THE CATEGORIES OF PAPERS IN THE PAPERS PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT?

Papers Presented are classified into one of these six categories: Command Paper, Parliamentary Paper, Statutory Paper, Subsidiary Legislation Paper, Presidential Council Paper and Miscellaneous Paper.

Command Paper (CMD Papers)

Presented by command of the President and includes white papers, reports of Commissions of inquiry and certain annual reports of Ministries or Department.

Statutory (S Papers)

Presented pursuant to statute, annual reports, statements and/or accounts of statutory boards and matters other than subsidiary legislation presented according to law.

Subsidiary Legislation (S.L. Papers)

Presented pursuant to law and includes all subsidiary legislation such as regulations, rules and orders.

Parliamentary (Parl Papers)

Presented usually pursuant to Standing Orders by the Speaker or Chairman of Select and other Committees and includes reports and other documents.

Presidential Council (Pres Co Papers)

Presented according to law and includes reports from the Presidential Council for Minority Rights on provisions in draft legislation.

Miscellaneous (Misc Papers)

Papers not falling within any of the above categories and which are presented by a Minister.

Back to top

WHAT IS THE COVERING PERIOD OF PARLIAMENT RECORDS AVAILABLE ON GOVERNMENT RECORDS DATABASE?

The papers currently available on the Government Records Database is for the period 2011 – 2016. For 2016 Papers and beyond, NAS will upload them as they are progressively received from Parliament. For Papers prior to 2011, they will be progressively uploaded as they are digitised. The digitisation exercise is expected to be completed within 2 years and Papers going back to 1955 will be available.

Back to top

WHAT IS MEANT BY RECORD DATE (OR DATE OF PRESENTATION) AND THE PRESENTER?

The Record Date (or Date of Presentation) is the date the paper was presented to Parliament, and the Presenter reflects the source or Agency presenting the paper (also known as Presenting Agency).

Back to top

AM I ABLE TO DOWNLOAD A COPY OF THE PAPER?

If the PDF is available, you may download the contents for private research use only. Any other use including for purposes of publication, exhibition, or online use will require written permission.

This is set out in the Conditions Governing Access.

If you have any queries, please contact nas@nlb.gov.sg.

Back to top

WHAT DO I DO IF I HAVE FURTHER ENQUIRIES ABOUT THE PAPERS PRESENTED TO PARLIAMENT?

You may email your enquiries to nas@nlb.gov.sg.

Back to top