Virtual lectures, get-togethers, even parties. The pandemic has shown that it is possible to do almost anything remotely, thanks to the power of today’s videoconferencing technology.

But did you know that you can add the affirmation of affidavits to that list as well? The Singapore Academy of Law, which appoints the Republic’s Commissioners for Oaths, has released guidelines on performing these services remotely. They spell out best practices for COs to follow, such as the types of affidavits that can be affirmed remotely. They also highlight what COs need to be cognizant of before starting the affirmation process.

The clarity has been welcomed by COs like Yvonne J. Schelkis-Sweeney, who has been a CO for eight years. The lawyer from Gloria James-Civetta & Co started performing remote commissioning earlier this year, to keep up with evolving rules on safe distancing measures. “Clients in senior management roles generally prefer to do it virtually so that they don’t have to take time out of their busy schedules to come to our offices,” shares Yvonne.

She adds that COs like herself also benefit when clients opt for remote commissioning. “It is more convenient as I do not need to go into the office. The added advantage is if it is really urgent, I can do the commissioning after office hours and also during the weekends.”

Having carried out remote commissioning for awhile, Yvonne has learnt a few tips that she readily shares with other COs. For one, choose the right device. “Choose Zoom on a laptop instead of WhatsApp on the phone, as the laptop screen is bigger and you can clearly see the deponent signing before you,” she says, adding that the guidelines offered by SAL have been helpful in getting her remote commissioning practice up and running.