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Move to request written report?


Charles Hartman
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I'm the faculty parliamentarian at a small liberal-arts college. Most often our committees give their reports orally. (Our custom, despite RONR, is to summarize these in the minutes.) I have a query from a faculty member about getting a committee to submit its report in writing. The topic concerns compensation; the inquirer wants access to numbers that the compensation committee has not made public. There might or might not be privacy issues; the inquirer sees it as an issue of transparency. 

My question is simply whether there is any standard motion that the inquirer could make to force the committee to report in writing. I'm guessing not—but the fact that I can't find a thing in RONR is proof of nothing!

Thanks for any help.

Charles Hartman

 

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An individual member cannot demand anything but the parent assembly can instruct the committee to submit a written report.  Please note:  "All committee reports should be submitted in writing, except as noted (for particular types of brief reports in a small assembly) on pages 525–27."  RONR (11th ed.), p. 511.

Edited by George Mervosh
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Well, there is a big difference between instructing a committee to submit its reports in writing (which it ought to do as a matter of course), and instructing it as to exactly what it should include in its reports. 

In any event, I don't think that there is any "standard motion" the inquirer can make to force the committee to report in writing what he wishes it to report. A motion to give additional instructions to a committee is simply an incidental main motion, adoptable by majority vote.

 

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