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34/1994 Best Evidence Policy - Malaya & Singapore
Central Office Instruction
amending General Orders (1993 edition)
Instruction No. 34
Date of Effect: 1 November 1994
"BEST EVIDENCE" POLICY
- service in Malaya and Singapore
The purpose of this Instruction is to clarify the eligibility determination process in relation to persons who served in Malaya or Singapore between 1 September 1957 and 28 May 1963.
The interpretation of the description of the operational area defined in regulation 74J confines qualifying service to that actually served on land in Malaya or Singapore during this period. When the "best evidence" policy was introduced by COI 19 on 1 January 1993, it was thought that the servicemen may have suitable evidence in their possession which could verify that they were required to perform duty on land.
Experience has revealed that such evidence is usually non-existent. Indeed, there are times when the Service Records Offices have difficulty in determining whether naval personnel were required to actually perform duty on land even though a ship was within territorial waters. The absence of evidence in the hands of servicemen means that delegates inevitably have to issue a Request for Service Details form to confirm the service.
Policy to be applied
It is considered appropriate for confirmation to be sought from Service Records Offices in every case where eligibility is being claimed on the basis of service in Malaya or Singapore between 1 September 1957 and 28 May 1963.
Attached are amended pages 55-56 for the Eligibility General Orders. Please replace the existing pages with the amended version.
The sixth paragraph of Eligibility GO 13.1 has been altered to read:
Where eligibility is being claimed on the basis of service on land in Malaya or Singapore between 1 September 1957 and 28 May 1963, it is appropriate that a service check be sent to the Department of Defence.
A service check may also be required if, for example, an applicant has served for 6 years 2 days but it is not clear whether the additional service was due to a delay in processing the person's discharge. Delegates are to use sound judgement in these matters.
Effect on previously issued COIs
This Instruction refines the policy enunciated in COI 19.
27 October 1994