Case No: 1/2018
Improper Conduct of a Registered Surveyor
1 This is a case of a datum establishment wrongly done causing errors in the positions of the constructed buildings and boundary walls.
2 A complaint was raised to the LSB by URA about firm (‘X’). Firm ‘X’ was engaged by the contractor to conduct controls, topographical, pre-computation and setting out survey for the construction of 2 pairs of semi-detached houses on 2 plots of land under two separate jobs. These were to be subdivided into 4 plots. In response to the complaint, a full set of survey report (duly signed), photos and email chain were submitted by URA which were subsequently submitted to LSB.
3 The errors were discovered by another RS during the subdivision survey.
Facts Established in the Investigation
4 Field technical officers picked boundary marks along the front portion of the lots. No marks were picked at the rear of the properties to envelope the sites.
5 The datum establishment was done in Cassini Datum based on PO-New methods. The Office Technical staff did not use all the marks and only considered three marks lying approximately along a straight line (along the front of the boundary) for computation. The 3 marks adopted were not boundary marks and caused the computed boundary to shift 1m (refer to redacted sketch plan below).
6 Prior to setting out survey, the technical field team was instructed to carry out additional survey of more marks but there is no evidence that these were being analysed.
7 The RS in charge of the project only reviewed the finished computation plan but did not review the PO & NEW analysis. There were insufficient checks in the company processes to prevent such an error.
8 The errors caused the buildings to be constructed 1m shortfall in setback and the perimeter walls 1m beyond the boundaries (encroaching 1m into State Land).
Decision of the Land Surveyors Board
9 The Board concluded on the following:
(a) The firm ‘X’ failed to ensure a consistent practice and procedure in checking, ensuring both the field practices and survey computations are in order and to an acceptable industry standard. The Firm was found to have contravened Rule no. 2 of the Land Surveyors (Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics) Rules and fined a maximum penalty of SGD20,000.
(b) The RS in charge failed to carry out sufficient checks and also failed to identify lapses in the survey process of the Firm ‘X’. The RS was found to have contravened the Rule no. 2 of the Land Surveyors (Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics) Rules and fined a maximum penalty of SGD10,000.