Minutes - Not
handout at 2011 NGC Convention by Joan H. Corbisiero, PRP)
What are Minutes?
of proceedings of a meeting of a deliberative assembly; legal record;
record of what was DONE, not what was said; should not be used as a
substitute for a newsletter; should not be used as a review for
absentees as to what occurred at a meeting.
- Name of organization, kind of meeting (regular or special,
adjourned, annual), date, time convened and place, who was presiding
and who the secretary was, presence of a quorum, whether minutes of
previous meeting were approved.
- Separate paragraph for each subject matter:
(except if withdrawn) as
name of maker (if important) but not seconder, disposition (adopted
of reports given and any actions on reports.
- of notions, points of order, appeals of chair's rulings and whether
or not sustained. Last paragraph - Hour of adjournment, secretary's
signature, notation of date of approval.
Body of Minutes
- All main motions as
and their disposition whether final (adopted or defeated) or
temporary (laid on table, postponed, referred to committee). E.g.,
Motion: That the Paeonia Garden Club serve champagne punch at its
June garden party. Adopted amendment: To delete word "champagne."
Recorded motion: That the Paeonia Garden Club serve punch at its June
garden party was adopted after debate and amendment.
motions should not be included unless necessary to the disposition of
the motion. E.g., Above motion was Laid on Table at March meeting and
not taken from table until April meeting. Important that March
minutes show motion was Laid on Table (or Postponed to April meeting
or Referred to Committee).
to Refer to Committee includes both the original main motion and the
motions to amend that adhere to the main motion when referred.
"Bring Back" motions should be included (unless withdrawn):
Take From Table, Rescind or Amend Something Previously Adopted,
Discharge a Committee, Reconsider.
Written reports need only be recorded as having been given. On file -
to be kept for length of time as determined by organizational policy.
Oral reports need not be recorded "en toto" - only as
desirable to record historical fact. (What is in the minutes should
not be at discretion of person giving report.) Any action on a
committee recommendation (this will be a main motion).
Points of Order and Appeals
to be recorded in minutes: All notices of motions; all points of
order and appeals and whether sustained or lost.
Name and subject of guest speakers.
Should Not Be In Minutes
of seconder; motions that were withdrawn; discussion; opinions of
recorder of minutes; content of committee reports unless ordered by
assembly; guest speaker's remarks.
- If by voice, only fact that motion was adopted or defeated.
- If by roll call, the names of those voting on each side, as well as names of those abstaining to indicate a quorum was present.
- If by ballot, the complete tellers' report which should include: number of votes cast; number of votes required for passage.
Regular meeting minutes are approved at next regular meeting.
- Special meeting minutes are approved at next regular meeting.
- Adjourned meeting minutes are approved at next adjourned meeting or regular meeting, whichever is first.
- Minutes are approved in chronological order.
- Minutes of meetings held in executive session must be approved at a meeting held in executive session.
Corrections to Minutes
Proposed minutes are only a draft and do not become the minutes until approved (although actions are effective IMMEDIATELY).
- To dispense with reading of minutes only postpones the time for consideration.
- Must be approved by assembly or a Minutes Approval Committee.
- Minutes are approved by assembly as read, distributed, corrected.
minutes are adopted by unanimous consent - "Are there any corrections
to the minutes?" (No correction) "If there is no objection, the minutes
will stand approved as read/distributed." "Are there any corrections to
the minutes?" (Correction proposed) "If there is no objection, the
proposed correction will be made." (If there is objection, vote on
inclusion of correction.) "If there is no objection, the minutes will
stand approved as corrected."
- Minutes can
be approved by assembly by adopted motion: Member: "Madam President, I
move that the minutes be approved as read/distributed/corrected." Chair:
"Is there a second? Those in favor, say aye. Those opposed, say no. The
ayes are in the majority. The minutes are approved as
- Minutes can
be approved by Minutes Approval Committee but are subject to correction
by assembly: Any two (or more) in attendance review and attest to the
accuracy before distribution. "If there is no objection, the Chair
appoints Barbara Bates and Cathy Collins as the Committee to Approve the
Minutes." At next meeting: "Barbara Bates will report for the Committee
appointed to approve the minutes of the last regular meeting (or for
the 2011 Annual Meeting)." "Madam President, the minutes of the
_________ meeting were approved as circulated." Advantages: 1) Only
approved minutes are distributed. Drafts are not in circulation. 2)
Efficient. Eliminated a lot of debate about minutes. Attention of
meeting is on current agenda. 3) Allows for approval and timely
distribution of minutes of meetings with long intervals in between (as
- Should be notated on minutes being corrected, initialed by secretary with date of correction.
- Corrections can be made at any time.
- If made after approval, will require a two-thirds (2/3) vote.
Errors in Minutes
Failure to include name of organization.
- Failure to include the year of the meeting.
- Failure to note who presided and who served as secretary.
- Including the name of the seconder.
- Including a detailed account of subsidiary motions to questions finally disposed of.
- Failure to record points of order and appeals, with reasons for each ruling.
- Failure to record motions adopted by unanimous consent.
- Failure to record votes which should be recorded.
- Including remarks from debate.
- Recording excessive description of program.
- Failure to record previous notice given at a meeting.
- Omission of time and fact of adjournment.
- Use of outdated closings, "Respectfully" and "Respectfully submitted."