The REA is one of the few engineering Acts that registers companies and firms. There are two sections: Section 7A which registers Single Disciplinary Practice (SDP) and Section 7B which registers Multi Disciplinary Practice (MDP). Section 7A of the REA covers three types of firms, sole proprietorship, partnership and body corporate. Section 7B covers engineering firms providing a combination of architectural or quantity surveying services. All firms registered under the Board are known as Engineering Consultancy Practice (ECP).
The major amendments in Section 7A and 7B are in the composition of the Board of Directors and equity in a body corporate. These major amendments are a result of Government's policies on liberalisation. Section 7A (3) is amended to:
"Section 7A(3) The Board shall register a sole proprietorship, partnership or body corporate as an Engineering consultancy practice, subject to such conditions and restrictions as it may deem fit to impose, if -
- in the case of the sole proprietorship, the sole proprietor is a Professional Engineer with Practising Certificate:
- in the case of the partnership. all the partners are Professional Engineers with Practising Certificates: or
- in the case of the body corporate,
- it has a board of directors who shall be subject to such conditions and qualifications as may be prescribed by the Board;
- its shareholdings shall be as may be prescribed by the Board:
- it has a minimum paid-up capital which shall be of an amount to be prescribed by the Board; and
- the day-to-day affairs of the body corporate shall be under the control and management of a person who -
- is a Professional Engineer with Practising Certificate; and
- is authorized under a resolution of the board of directors of the body corporate to make all final engineering decisions on behalf of the body corporate in respect of the requirements under this Act or any other law relating to the supply of professional engineering services by the body corporate."
It should be noted that the composition of the Board of Directors, shareholdings and minimum paidup capital are to be prescribed by the Board in the Regulations under Section 26 of the REA. Section 7A(3)(iv) also requires all body corporate to name a person who is in charge of the firm as the composition of the Board of Directors may also include non-engineers. This ensures that the management of the firm is still under control of the Professional Engineer. The registration of firms is illustrated in Figure 1.