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Guest vagent

Standing Rules -- who "owns" them

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Guest vagent

Standing rules.  I can find reference to them in RONR and can find the methods to adopt/amend them.  But it's not clear who the governing body is that does the voting.  Is it the Board or is it the Membership?

For example, if the bylaws establish an election committee and it is desired to specify the election process it would behoove the organization to put the process in standing rules rather than in the bylaws.  Does this standing rule have to be adopted by the membership or just the board?  And, should it be desired to change the process, would the board alone be able to change the standing rule or would it require membership approval?

Another example, the board would like to establish a reimbursement policy for members (board or general membership members) for those who incur expenses in support of organization business, say, pay $100 for attending a meeting requiring overnight stay.  Again something that should be in a standing rule vice bylaws.  Can the board establish the standing rule or does it require full membership approval?

As I work this issue I find myself asking "Who owns the 'rule/policy'?"  It seems like the body that owns it (i.e., is going to abide by it) should be able to establish/modify it.  But, it seems like it if affects the organization then the membership should have a say.  Standing rules/policy should be flexible, but full membership approval to adopt/modify it makes it as timely and cumbersome as bylaws changes.

Thanks in advance for your feedback.

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Guest Vaqent, the short answer is that your board has only those powers which are delegated to it by the bylaws. What, exactly, do your bylaws say about the power of the board? Please don't paraphrase. Quote exactly.

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15 minutes ago, Guest vagent said:

For example, if the bylaws establish an election committee and it is desired to specify the election process it would behoove the organization to put the process in standing rules rather than in the bylaws.  Does this standing rule have to be adopted by the membership or just the board?  And, should it be desired to change the process, would the board alone be able to change the standing rule or would it require membership approval?

Well, for starters, additional information about the sort of election rules you intend to adopt may be helpful. While some rules pertaining to the election process could be adopted as standing rules, others would need to be adopted as special rules of order, or even as rules in the bylaws.

Setting that aside, the general rule is that the membership adopts rules. The board only has such authority as the bylaws provide. Additionally, if the membership adopts a rule, only the membership may amend that rule, even if the board generally has the authority to adopt rules.

15 minutes ago, Guest vagent said:

Another example, the board would like to establish a reimbursement policy for members (board or general membership members) for those who incur expenses in support of organization business, say, pay $100 for attending a meeting requiring overnight stay.  Again something that should be in a standing rule vice bylaws.  Can the board establish the standing rule or does it require full membership approval?

This is a much better example of a standing rule. As noted above, the board may only adopt such rules if it is authorized to do so by the society or its rules.

Edited by Josh Martin

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A good weedkiller is

RONRIB:

"Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised In Brief", Updated Second Edition (Da Capo Press, Perseus Books Group, 2011). It is a splendid summary of all the rules you will ever need in all but the most exceptional situations. And only $7.50! You can read it in an evening. Get both RONRIB and RONR (scroll down) at this link:

http://www.robertsrules.com/inbrief.html

Or in your local bookstore.

It might be just what the parliamentarian ordered.

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