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Determining the Functions of a Standing Committee


Willie Watson
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In the Standing Committee section of our bylaws it lists fifteen (15) Standing Committees by name. The function of seven of the Standing Committees is written in the bylaws. However, the other eight are just named and their function is not described. There are no standing rules adopted by the organization that describe the function/duties of the other eight Standing Committees. What is the proper procedure for establishing their function? Better still, do they even have a function without instruction somewhere describing their responsibilities? We have adopted via our bylaws, RONR as our parliamentary authority.

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36 minutes ago, Willie Watson said:

In the Standing Committee section of our bylaws it lists fifteen (15) Standing Committees by name. The function of seven of the Standing Committees is written in the bylaws. However, the other eight are just named and their function is not described. There are no standing rules adopted by the organization that describe the function/duties of the other eight Standing Committees. What is the proper procedure for establishing their function? Better still, do they even have a function without instruction somewhere describing their responsibilities? We have adopted via our bylaws, RONR as our parliamentary authority.

Your organization may have adopted RONR as its parliamentary authority, but it's not doing a very good job of following its advice.  :)

As noted in RONR (11th ed.), on page 578:

"The article on committees should provide for the establishment of each of the standing committees (50) that it is known will be required. A separate section devoted to each of these committees should give its name, composition, manner of selection, and duties." (Emphasis supplied.)

I suppose it's possible to satisfactorily determine a standing committee's assigned function by reference to its name alone, but I'm inclined to doubt it. Or perhaps, after reading your bylaws in their entirety, it becomes apparent that these committees are created to perform such functions as the membership's assembly may assign to them from time to time. Makes no sense to me, but stranger things have happened.

Presumably your organization has been in existence for some time. What have these committees been doing? Nothing?

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