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Recording discussion in minutes

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In the minutes, I say "after a discussion" or "after a lengthy discussion." I've been putting that in for nearly a year. This month, on the draft, I again had it listed. One of the board members has requested that I put in more detail - it involved an amendment to the previous month's minutes on a contentious topic. The prior minutes are now complete with the new wording. I was under the belief that discussion in general did not go in the minutes, only facts. I feel that if I put in more detail on this topic, it will open up more detail in all agenda items. Suggestions?

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You are correct that only what was done, not what was said, goes in the minutes.   However, the assembly is ultimately in control of its own minutes and may by motion, rule or custom include more or less information than RONR specifies.

 

When you start giving details of discussion and debate in the minutes, you are starting down a slippery slope.

 

This is what RONR says in the opening paragraph on Minutes on page 468:

 

"The official record of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly is usually called the minutes, or sometimes—particularly in legislative bodies—the journal. In an ordinary society, the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members. The minutes should never reflect the secretary's opinion, favorable or otherwise, on anything said or done. The minutes should be kept in a substantial book or binder."

 

Edited to add:  Perhaps more helpful is the answer to Question 15 on page 120 of RONR in Brief:

 

"Question 15:
Isn't it necessary to summarize matters discussed at a meeting in the minutes of that meeting in order for the minutes to be complete?
Answer:
Not only is it not necessary to summarize matters discussed at a meeting in the minutes of that meeting, it is improper to do so. Minutes are a record of what was done at a meeting, not a record of what was said. [RONR (11th ed.), p. 468, ll. 16–18; see also p. 146 of this book.]"

 

The same information is contained in FAQ No 15 on this website:  http://www.robertsrules.com/faq.html#15

Edited by Richard Brown

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 . . . it involved an amendment to the previous month's minutes on a contentious topic. 

 

I assume this member wants to "correct" the draft minutes prior to their approval. If so, the other members are free to reject the "correction".

 

If, on the other hand, this member wants to amend previously adopted minutes, the previously adopted minutes will remain unaltered and the amendment, if adopted, will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting at which it was adopted (i.e. the current meeting).

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