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Board voting on changes made in secret


Guest Karl Webb
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Our church's College of Bishops voted to accept changes to a proposed prayer book.  However, one change was made by the committee and did not inform the bishops, who approved the whole.  Now this has come to light and the Chair is not allowing amendments.  Is the change made in secret valid?

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8 hours ago, Guest Karl Webb said:

Our church's College of Bishops voted to accept changes to a proposed prayer book.  However, one change was made by the committee and did not inform the bishops, who approved the whole.  Now this has come to light and the Chair is not allowing amendments.  Is the change made in secret valid?

No, unless your organization or its rules has authorized the committee to make changes on its own (which does not seem to be the case, since the other changes required the approval of the bishops).

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The prayer book was referred to the committee and they referred it back to the College of Bishops and apparently did not inform them of all the changes that were done. This act may or may not warrant discipline depending on its severity, after all it may have been willful or it may have been accidental. Had the College of Bishops compared the old text side-by-side the new text I suspect that within several hours they could have detected all changes and made any corrections that they deemed necessary. Approving a document and never actually reading it is downright reckless. The OP informs us that the Bishops "approved the whole." In my opinion the so-called "change made in secret" has nothing to do with anything. The document was approved and if the College of Bishops has a problem with that then they can change it again at their discretion. That the chair claims that further changes are disallowed is obviously contrary to standard parliamentary procedure unless this College has superior rules in this regard, otherwise a motion to Amend Something Previously Adopted takes care of that issue.

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20 hours ago, Guest Karl Webb said:

Our church's College of Bishops voted to accept changes to a proposed prayer book.  However, one change was made by the committee and did not inform the bishops, who approved the whole.  Now this has come to light and the Chair is not allowing amendments.  Is the change made in secret valid?

A little more information as to exactly what the College of Bishops voted to approve would be helpful. If they approved a document submitted to them by the committee, even if the document contained a provision that should not have been in it, that document has nonetheless been approved. It is hard for me to understand exactly what happened based on your post.

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I forgot to mention that under proper parliamentary procedure a document that has been referred to a committee cannot itself be modified in any way. The document referred must be returned undamaged and without any markup. A committee must submit a report that details every individual change contemplated. What the referring body then does is to adopt, reject, or modify in some way, the various motions to amend that the committee recommends in its report. It appears as though the committee violated this procedural aspect and the College of Bishops instead of receiving a detailed report with the various amendments received instead a modified prayer book and became momentarily distracted from these facts when it adopted the whole prayer book. In my opinion the College of Bishops should be informed of this procedural aspect and they should, at a minimum, admonish the committee to act accordingly in the future.

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