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Secretary_LJR

Ordered to Distribute Raw Meeting Minutes - Not unapproved" but raw

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Background Information

I am the secretary for a volunteer organization.  We have two advisors, who are not officers.

I bring a laptop to each meeting and take minutes by typing my notes into a software program.  I  then transcribe my raw notes to create the unapproved meeting minutes.

 

My Conundrum and My Question

Group Advisor Number 1 has requested that I forward my raw, un-transcribed meeting notes to her because:

1.  She can't remember what was decided at the meeting.

2.  Group Advisor Number 1 needs to update Group Advisor Number 2, who did not attend the meeting. 

3.  Group Advisor Number 1 is in a hurry.

Is this a proper request?  Why or why not?

Thank you in advance!

 

 

 

 

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This is a proper request, as far as parliamentary procedure is concerned, and it's also proper to comply, or to not comply. This is because, until approved (raw or otherwise), the draft minutes are simply the Secretary's notes, which the Secretary is free to do with as he chooses - so anyone can ask for them, and the Secretary can send them, or not. It makes no difference how much you've edited them. However, that's as far as RONR goes. In reality, the answer probably lies in the relationship between the advisor and the group. What sort of relationship is that? Is the advisor an employee? Is the advisor some sort of authority figure?

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2 minutes ago, Secretary_LJR said:

Is this a proper request?  Why or why not?

There is nothing inappropriate about the request.... anyone can request just about anything.  Whether you need to comply is a different matter.  I think it is a judgment call for your to make.  It is not at all an unusual request.  Also, keep in mind, that many (most?) organizations distribute the draft minutes at some point between the meeting at which the minutes were taken and the meeting at which they are to be approved.  Sometimes that distribution takes place almost immediately and sometimes it is the day of the meeting at which they will be approved.   However, there is nothing secret about them... they just are not yet the official minutes.  btw, we refer to them as draft minutes, not as "raw" or "unapproved" minutes, although that is probably just a difference in terminology.  RONR uses the term "draft minutes".  

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2 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

btw, we refer to them as draft minutes, not as "raw" or "unapproved" minutes, although that is probably just a difference in terminology.  RONR uses the term "draft minutes".  

I think the OP is distinguishing two things: a) "raw" minutes, i.e. notes taken during the meeting and which don't look like minutes, and b) draft or unapproved minutes, which look like minutes but have not yet been approved by the assembly. 

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19 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

I think the OP is distinguishing two things: a) "raw" minutes, i.e. notes taken during the meeting and which don't look like minutes, and b) draft or unapproved minutes, which look like minutes but have not yet been approved by the assembly. 

Yes, that's quite possible.  But, I believe the answer is the same:  It is Secretary LJR's decision whether to comply.  There could well be a very valid request for the information.   I do not believe that the notes are "secret" and if the notes were taken on behalf of the society, even if using the secretary's own notebook and pen, the society could order the secretary to turn them over if push was to get to shove. In the meantime, the secretary can probably make the decision whether to turn them over or say, "Sorry, you'll have to wait for the minutes to come out (whether draft or approved).

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I agree. The real answer to whether the secretary needs to turn them other probably depends, though, on just who these advisors are. That might not be parliamentary law, but just real-world stuff. If the advisors are paid employees who give the organization advice, the secretary will have little problem saying no (if he doesn't feel like turning them over; if he does, he'll have little problem saying yes). If it's, say, a student organization, and the advisors are "adults" who give direction more than advice, he'll probably need to turn them over. 

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

I think the OP is distinguishing two things: a) "raw" minutes, i.e. notes taken during the meeting and which don't look like minutes, and b) draft or unapproved minutes, which look like minutes but have not yet been approved by the assembly. 

Yes, that's correct.  I was making the distinction between notes that only make sense to me and draft minutes that have not yet been approved by the assembly. 

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38 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

I agree. The real answer to whether the secretary needs to turn them other probably depends, though, on just who these advisors are. That might not be parliamentary law, but just real-world stuff. If the advisors are paid employees who give the organization advice, the secretary will have little problem saying no (if he doesn't feel like turning them over; if he does, he'll have little problem saying yes). If it's, say, a student organization, and the advisors are "adults" who give direction more than advice, he'll probably need to turn them over. 

Our organization is a post-secondary student organization.  The advisors are professors, who have paid dues and are, therefore, considered members under the rules of our organization.  The advisors refrain from voting.
 

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1 hour ago, Joshua Katz said:

This is a proper request, as far as parliamentary procedure is concerned, and it's also proper to comply, or to not comply. This is because, until approved (raw or otherwise), the draft minutes are simply the Secretary's notes, which the Secretary is free to do with as he chooses - so anyone can ask for them, and the Secretary can send them, or not. It makes no difference how much you've edited them. However, that's as far as RONR goes. In reality, the answer probably lies in the relationship between the advisor and the group. What sort of relationship is that? Is the advisor an employee? Is the advisor some sort of authority figure?

We are a post-secondary student organization.  Our advisors are professors.   One of the advisors in my instructor for the class that I'm taking. 

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5 minutes ago, Secretary_LJR said:

Our organization is a post-secondary student organization.  The advisors are professors, who have paid dues and are, therefore, considered members under the rules of our organization.  The advisors refrain from voting.

Then my guess is you can politely decline to turn over hard to interpret notes, or even unapproved minutes, if you so desire. But that may be subject to the political winds in your organization. The point is, they are free to ask, and you are free to provide them, or not, per RONR.

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3 minutes ago, Joshua Katz said:

Then my guess is you can politely decline to turn over hard to interpret notes, or even unapproved minutes, if you so desire. But that may be subject to the political winds in your organization. The point is, they are free to ask, and you are free to provide them, or not, per RONR.

I wasn't sure that I actually had the choice to refuse.  Thank you!

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