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Electronic participation in Board meetings test run


Jim Anderson
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Our organization is struggling with a proposal to allow absent Board members to participate in Board meetings remotely, through electronic means. It has been suggested a test or trial run of allowing remote participation with the understanding the absent Board member would be allowed to participate in discussions and debate but not allowed to make motions or vote, prior to presentation to the membership in general, a bylaw amendment allowing such participation.

My question:

“Is it within Parliamentary Law guidance, for a Board member to participate in Board meetings via electronic methods with understanding he/she cannot make motions or vote but would be allowed to participate in meeting discussions and debate, when bylaws do not specifically allow for such participation?”

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Yes, that would be fine, but they could not be counted as present without the bylaws authorizing it (e.g. they would not count for the purposes of quorum or an attendance requirement specified in the bylaws). Apart from that, there is nothing that restricts the Board from allowing members to participate in debate remotely.

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