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Parliamentary Errors Noticed After the Meeting

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At a recent annual, national meeting of an organization, some constitutional amendments had been distributed (in advance, as required) for consideration, but no motion as to their acceptance/adoption had been made.

 

Discussion ensued - despite the lack of a motion.

 

Widespread disagreement and lack of understanding of the not-yet-motioned amendments became apparent.  

 

A member motioned that the proposed amendments be referred to a committee for review and rewording, and that the amendments be again considered at the next meeting.  

This motion carried, and a committee was appointed by the president.

 

The meeting was later adjourned without noticing the potential (likely) parliamentary errors.

 

The entire sequence appears in the minutes -- which are for approval at next year's annual meeting.

 

My Questions:

 

1. Given the fact that no motion had been made to adopt the amendments, was the discussion of them allowable under RONR?

 

2. If no motion had been made to adopt the amendments, was the motion to refer them to a committee legitimate under RONR?

 

3. If these are in fact, as I suspect, parliamentary errors, what can properly be done about them?  

 

4. Can the appointed committee commence work on the amendments?

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At a recent annual, national meeting of an organization, some constitutional amendments had been distributed (in advance, as required) for consideration, but no motion as to their acceptance/adoption had been made.

 

Discussion ensued - despite the lack of a motion.

 

Widespread disagreement and lack of understanding of the not-yet-motioned amendments became apparent.  

 

A member motioned that the proposed amendments be referred to a committee for review and rewording, and that the amendments be again considered at the next meeting.  

This motion carried, and a committee was appointed by the president.

 

The meeting was later adjourned without noticing the potential (likely) parliamentary errors.

 

The entire sequence appears in the minutes -- which are for approval at next year's annual meeting.

 

My Questions:

 

1. Given the fact that no motion had been made to adopt the amendments, was the discussion of them allowable under RONR?

 

2. If no motion had been made to adopt the amendments, was the motion to refer them to a committee legitimate under RONR?

 

3. If these are in fact, as I suspect, parliamentary errors, what can properly be done about them?  

 

4. Can the appointed committee commence work on the amendments?

 

1) It appears the chair stated the question on the pre-noticed amendments, thereby placing them before the assembly for consideration and everyone was fine with that. Too late now to worry about the fact no one actually moved for their adoption.

 

2) Given what I noted in #1, yes. Once they were pending it was proper to refer them.

 

3) Nothing.  It's too late now to raise a point of order about any of this.

 

4) Yes.

 

As far as your minutes are concerned, they are a record of what happened and should be approved if they are an accurate record, even if parliamentary errors were made.

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The entire sequence appears in the minutes -- which are for approval at next year's annual meeting.

I agree with the very thorough answer by George Mervosh in post # 2, but would add that you should not wait a full year to approve the minutes of an annual (or any other) meeting.  RONR provides that when there will be more than a quarterly time interval between meetings, a committee should be appointed to approve the minutes or the executive board should be authorized to do so.

 

From page 95 of RONR:  "Minutes of one annual meeting should not be held for action until the next one a year later."

 

And from the bottom of page 474 and the top of 475:  :  "When the next regular business session will not be held within a quarterly time interval (see pp. 89–90), and the session does not last longer than one day, or in an organization in which there will be a change or replacement of a portion of the membership, the executive board or a committee appointed for the [page 475] purpose should be authorized to approve the minutes."

 

I suggest that at your annual meetings in the future, unless you meet monthly or quarterly, the assembly either appoint a committee to approve the minutes or authorize the executive board to do it.  If you meet monthly or quarterly, you can approve the minutes  of the annual meeting at the next regular meeting.... you don't have to wait a year.  

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