Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

attempts to continue an annual general meeting as and after the chair closes it


Guest Jacqueline Carter

Recommended Posts

Guest Jacqueline Carter

Hi everybody, I'm new to the site; I found it on google after searching for info into "votes of no confidence" (so I have read your info regarding this). I wonder however if you can help with this question even though it would seem it might be obvious. The committee in question was established under an Act of Parliament in respect of which there are some Regulations.but the only thing which refers to procedures for meetings says "subject to the provisions of this Act and of any regulations under the Act, every ... Association may regulate its procedure in such manner as it thinks fit."

Now while I think the committee has a constitution I don't think anyone has referred to it for ages and the present committee may have difficulty in actually obtaining it from past members. So I'm aware there may be something in there that states how the committee is supposed to run meetings, in this case specifically AGMs.

But first perhaps a little bit of background. While this committee was established under an Act it is currently in conflict with a Trust established under another Act. A previous committee established this Trust (and some of its members then became Trustees) but the relationship between them has never been clarified other than saying at the time it was established that the Trust is governance and the committee is management and there is no reference to the Committee in the Deed that established the Trust.

So as I understand the situation at present one of the people at the AGM had approached the secretary to put an item on the agenda and been told she couldn't. The agenda included opening, apologies, minutes, matters arising, Chair's report, adoption of it, Treasurer's report and presentation of accounts, adoption of accounts, appointment of auditors and then the Chair went to close.The Act under which this Committee was established provides for elections every three years and this Committee has served one year. At some stage during the course of the meeting a petition regarding the Committee's process was physically laid upon the table but was not referred to by the Committee. As the Chair began a closing prayer a member of the public stood to speak about the petition but as the Chair was already closing and because the Committee had clearly indicated the agenda did not include any motions or General Business they simply stated that the meeting had closed but seeing as the issue did need discussing they would do so at a later meeting. I don't think however this was put as a motion given that the meeting had closed.

Most members of the Committee then left and the public chose to put a vote of no confidence. They then elected a new Committee but also consisting of members of the existing one (this "new Committee" would say "the old one") who were no longer present at the meeting. So bearing in mind what I've read on the site regarding putting a motion of no confidence and the fact that the meeting had essentially closed and most of the existing Committee members had left does this "new Committee" have any standing and what of the existing one and its not providing for motions or general business in its agenda?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi everybody, I'm new to the site; I found it on google after searching for info into "votes of no confidence" (so I have read your info regarding this). I wonder however if you can help with this question even though it would seem it might be obvious. The committee in question was established under an Act of Parliament in respect of which there are some Regulations.but the only thing which refers to procedures for meetings says "subject to the provisions of this Act and of any regulations under the Act, every ... Association may regulate its procedure in such manner as it thinks fit."

Now while I think the committee has a constitution I don't think anyone has referred to it for ages and the present committee may have difficulty in actually obtaining it from past members. So I'm aware there may be something in there that states how the committee is supposed to run meetings, in this case specifically AGMs.

You guys really need to locate your governing documents, so you have a clue what the defined powers of the Committee are (given the way you describe it, it sounds rather like a Board as described in RONR), how the terms of office of the committee members are defined, and when/how often your organization is supposed to hold elections. Note that if the Committee is essentially a board, they do not 'run' the AGM. The AGM is run by the general membership, and the board, as an official body, is not even present (individual members of the board may attend and participate, if they are general members).

But first perhaps a little bit of background. While this committee was established under an Act it is currently in conflict with a Trust established under another Act. A previous committee established this Trust (and some of its members then became Trustees) but the relationship between them has never been clarified other than saying at the time it was established that the Trust is governance and the committee is management and there is no reference to the Committee in the Deed that established the Trust.

It's not clear from this how the Committee is in conflict, or what the information about the Trust has to do with the events at the AGM. Do you think it's relevant in some way?

So as I understand the situation at present one of the people at the AGM had approached the secretary to put an item on the agenda and been told she couldn't. The agenda included opening, apologies, minutes, matters arising, Chair's report, adoption of it, Treasurer's report and presentation of accounts, adoption of accounts, appointment of auditors and then the Chair went to close.

Read FAQ #14 regarding the agenda. An agenda is not binding unless adopted, and even then it can be amended to add more items of business. Also, just in passing, it is not appropriate to adopt an unaudited treasurer's report -- it sounds like that was done, since auditors were to be appointed after 'adoption of accounts'.

The Act under which this Committee was established provides for elections every three years and this Committee has served one year.

Again, find your governing documents. You really need to know how the term of office is defined (also, whether your documents require elections more frequently than every three years). Has it been the practice in the organization to elect Committee members every three years?

At some stage during the course of the meeting a petition regarding the Committee's process was physically laid upon the table but was not referred to by the Committee. As the Chair began a closing prayer a member of the public stood to speak about the petition but as the Chair was already closing and because the Committee had clearly indicated the agenda did not include any motions or General Business they simply stated that the meeting had closed but seeing as the issue did need discussing they would do so at a later meeting. I don't think however this was put as a motion given that the meeting had closed.

What a mess.

By 'member of the public' I assume you mean a general member? As far as the Committee 'clearly indicating' that the 'agenda did not include any motions or General Business' -- that is utter nonsense. As previously mentioned, the Committee is not in session at a general membership meeting, the agenda does not have this kind of power over the business to be conducted, and it makes absolutely no sense to prevent motions and General Business at an annual membership meeting. It's not clear at all that the meeting had actually adjourned at this point, despite members of the Committee apparently claiming it was closed. You were there (presumably) and we weren't. You seem to accept that the meeting was closed (adjourned) -- was it?

Most members of the Committee then left and the public chose to put a vote of no confidence.

Perhaps the meeting had not adjourned then. The fact that most members of the Committee left is immaterial, as long as you still had quorum. If the meeting had adjourned, you can't just start it up again, no matter how many members are still there. On the other hand, if the meeting had not adjourned, the assembly was free to continue conducting business. By 'the public' I once more assume you are talking about members of the assembly.

They then elected a new Committee but also consisting of members of the existing one (this "new Committee" would say "the old one") who were no longer present at the meeting.

Read FAQ #20. See how important the definition of the term of office is? Maybe a new Committee was elected; maybe not. If the term of office includes the phrase 'or until successors are elected' then the assembly, with the appropriate vote margins, would have the authority to rescind the election of the members of the Committee, and then proceed to elect new Committee members.

So bearing in mind what I've read on the site regarding putting a motion of no confidence and the fact that the meeting had essentially closed and most of the existing Committee members had left does this "new Committee" have any standing and what of the existing one and its not providing for motions or general business in its agenda?

Again, the departure of the Committee members is immaterial. However, you continue to say the meeting had 'essentially closed' -- that really needs to be nailed down. Had the meeting been adjourned, or hadn't it?
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...