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Endorsement of committee work?


Setemu
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Does anyone have any experience with, opinions about, or recommendations on the following example of a practice:

Committee X is charged with making recommendations on policies regarding membership. Rather than hold a hearing or otherwise solicit the opinion of assembly members, the reporting member asks, on behalf of the committee, for the assembly to endorse its work so far, by vote. For example, let's say the committee came up with four principles around which they would like to develop their membership policy. The reporting member, at the end of the report, says, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the assembly endorse the proposed for principles around which the new membership policy will be created."

This example motion seems to have no parliamentary effect (it strikes me as similar in this way to the motion "to adopt the committee's recommendations", which doesn't necessarily authorize action (p. 515, ll. 13-16)) and might better be replaced with some form of a motion to instruct the committee in a certain way regarding its creation of a membership policy. For example, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the membership committee be instructed to create the new membership policy in accordance with the recommended four principles," or something like that.

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If the "four principles" (in your example) amount to a change in the original instructions to the committee, then the motion to "endorse" seems a lot like a motion to discharge the committee from considering whatever they were told in the original motion and then carrying on following the new (?) principles.

You can read all about "discharge a committee" starting on page 310 of RONR. (It is a short section.)

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This is a standing committee with powers to make recommendations on membership policies. The principles in a way are, maybe, the committee setting its own instructions regarding the general direction of the policies it will be developing for recommendation. Because the overhaul is significant, and this is the first and foundational step to the revision of the policy, committee members want to make sure the assembly agrees with the general direction they are heading, so that they don't get to the formal recommendation of the policies only to have the assembly reject some or all of the set of policies are grounded on one of these principles. While there is no guarantee the assembly will or will not reject any of the recommendations, the committee is attempting to "get it right" at critical stages before sending it out of committee and onto the floor for a vote.

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I think that getting the assembly's approval on the principles can be considered a manner of instructing the committee further rather than discharging the committee.

For example, the original motion or instructions might have been simply to develop new membership guidelines. Approving the principles suggested by the committee indicate the instructions are now, "You are to develop membership guidelines using these principles".

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17 hours ago, Setemu said:

Does anyone have any experience with, opinions about, or recommendations on the following example of a practice:

Committee X is charged with making recommendations on policies regarding membership. Rather than hold a hearing or otherwise solicit the opinion of assembly members, the reporting member asks, on behalf of the committee, for the assembly to endorse its work so far, by vote. For example, let's say the committee came up with four principles around which they would like to develop their membership policy. The reporting member, at the end of the report, says, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the assembly endorse the proposed for principles around which the new membership policy will be created."

This example motion seems to have no parliamentary effect (it strikes me as similar in this way to the motion "to adopt the committee's recommendations", which doesn't necessarily authorize action (p. 515, ll. 13-16)) and might better be replaced with some form of a motion to instruct the committee in a certain way regarding its creation of a membership policy. For example, "I move, on behalf of the membership committee, that the membership committee be instructed to create the new membership policy in accordance with the recommended four principles," or something like that.

It seems to me that the motion in question is already in the nature of instructions to the committee (although not explicitly stated as such), but it certainly doesn’t hurt to explicitly state it.

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So, if I understand the parliamentary situation correctly, the assembly cannot really make a motion to "endorse" the work, because according to RONR "So long as the question is in the hands of the committee, the assembly cannot consider another motion involving practically the same question" (p. 311, ll. 3-5), which I think is what jstackpro was getting at.  Nonetheless, a motion to further instruct the committee regarding its charges can effectively work around this in circumstances where the motion is explicitly further instructions and not, by contrast, a motion for the assembly to take action on its own regarding the question that is, in effect, still in committee. Am I close?

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1 hour ago, Setemu said:

This is a standing committee with powers to make recommendations on membership policies.

I think you should avoid saying things in this way, because it can be confusing.  When a committee is appointed "with power" it is able to act for the organization.  It does not need power to make recommendations; that's what committees do by default.

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I agree with the comments by Mr. Katz re use of the term "with power" when the only power the committee has is the power to make recommendations.  I think committees have that inherent power unless specifically prevented from doing so by virtue of some rule or the motion which appointed the committee or made the referral.  Making recommendations is usually the purpose of a committee.  The term "with power" indicates the power to actually implement its recommendations.

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Thanks for the clarification/correction. I’m still learning the lingo, and RONR only states, and very briefly, use of the term “full power” (p. 172, l. 12).  I assumed, wrongfully it appears, that without the qualifier “full” the term “power” might still be meaningful used to denote something else, namely in regard to what the committes purview, is but it seems as though in common practice this is not the case and would lead to confusion. 

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3 hours ago, Setemu said:

So, if I understand the parliamentary situation correctly, the assembly cannot really make a motion to "endorse" the work, because according to RONR "So long as the question is in the hands of the committee, the assembly cannot consider another motion involving practically the same question" (p. 311, ll. 3-5), which I think is what jstackpro was getting at.  Nonetheless, a motion to further instruct the committee regarding its charges can effectively work around this in circumstances where the motion is explicitly further instructions and not, by contrast, a motion for the assembly to take action on its own regarding the question that is, in effect, still in committee. Am I close?

Sounds right to me.

1 hour ago, Guest Setemu said:

Thanks for the clarification/correction. I’m still learning the lingo, and RONR only states, and very briefly, use of the term “full power” (p. 172, l. 12).  I assumed, wrongfully it appears, that without the qualifier “full” the term “power” might still be meaningful used to denote something else, namely in regard to what the committes purview, is but it seems as though in common practice this is not the case and would lead to confusion. 

Yes, the correct way to express what you are getting at is that the subject matter of the recommendation is (or is not) within the scope of the committee’s charge.

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