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Secretary Absent; Who Signs Minutes?


Guest Michael Clark

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Guest Michael Clark

I am the staff assistant for the Board of Directors. I prepare the minutes for each meeting and the secretary normally signs. If the secretary is absent from a meeting, who then would sign the minutes for that meeting? Is he still permitted to do so? If not, how is the signer determined?

From my online research I've determined that he may not be permitted to sign the minutes and the Board would choose another officer to sign in his place. If this is true I need to be able to explain this and show where this is stated in writing.

I believe I have my answer, I just need to be able to prove it. Any help or corrections would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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38 minutes ago, Guest Michael Clark said:

I am the staff assistant for the Board of Directors.

* I prepare the minutes for each meeting.

• The secretary normally signs.

Q1. If the secretary is absent from a meeting, who then would sign the minutes for that meeting?

Q2. Is he still permitted to do so?

Q3. If not, how is the signer determined?

Beware.

We may be talking about two different actions. Maybe three.

***

The secretary takes the minutes.

If someone other than the secretary is taking the minutes, then you have created a problem where the default assumptions of Robert's Rules of Order may not apply.

***
The term "minutes" refers to a written document.

A written document is signed by the author.

E.g., If I take minutes, then I sign the written document.

E.g., if you take minutes, then you sign the written document.

The sign-er of the document is only signifying "I am the author of this document."

Nothing more.

***

Upon the approval of one's minutes (upon approval of the written document), the secretary is to mark the written document, with a signature or with an initial, and add a date (of the approval) as a sign that the written document has been approved as the official minutes.

If the regular secretary is absent, then the regular secretary cannot authentically mark any document as authentically approved minutes.

So, the secretary pro tem of the meeting would be the party who marks and dates the written document as being officially approved as minutes.

As a result: Any earlier draft, any photocopy, etc., are thereby deemed inauthentic minutes, and are deemed superseded by another document.

***

>> From my online research I've determined that he may not be permitted to sign the minutes.

In general:

You cannot forge names. And the secretary cannot forge names.

You cannot have another party sign in your sted. -- That is dishonest. Neither can the secretary have another party sign for the secretary.

The secretary cannot sign a document which the secretary did not author.

But the secretary, or a secretary pro tem, if present at the meeting where the approval took place, is certainly authorized to mark and date any written document which has been approved as being the official minutes. -- No absent party can do this act.

 

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2 hours ago, Kim Goldsworthy said:


The term "minutes" refers to a written document.

A written document is signed by the author.

E.g., If I take minutes, then I sign the written document.

E.g., if you take minutes, then you sign the written document.

The sign-er of the document is only signifying "I am the author of this document."

Nothing more.

*

The secretary cannot sign a document which the secretary did not author.

 

Then why does RONR say the President can sign if the assembly wishes if it's dishonest of him to do so and/or he didn't author the document, and Secretaries sign all kinds of official documents they didn't author.  I don't even know where to go with the rest of the post.

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>> Then why does RONR say the President can sign if the assembly wishes ...?

Because -- the assembly wishes it.

Note that RONR does not say that the president signs - period.

The president cannot sign. The president needs permission. Permission from whom? From the appropriate party.

That is why.

 

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  • 2 years later...
Guest Absent Secretary

Secretary was absent but typed minutes that were culled from another’s written notes of minutes and conferences with other attendees. Can Secretary submit minutes for approval?

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2 hours ago, Guest Absent Secretary said:

Secretary was absent but typed minutes that were culled from another’s written notes of minutes and conferences with other attendees. Can Secretary submit minutes for approval?

Guest Absent  Secretary,  please re-post your question by starting a new topic, which is the custom in this forum, rather than tacking your question onto an old thread.  The instructions for starting a new topic are contained in the first (pinned) post in this forum with the title "Important: Read this first".  Here is a link to it: https://robertsrules.forumflash.com/topic/25416-important-read-this-first-faq-and-information-for-new-members-and-guests/

 

Edited by Richard Brown
Typographical correction
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