Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Recommended Posts

Hi,

I am looking for guidance on a few questions related to special committees and standing committees. 

First, our bylaws say the president can "appointment all committees otherwise not provided for."

There is a standing committee in our bylaws that sends out various cards for graduation, weddings, showers, etc. From what I've read in RONR, a special committee performs a specific task and essentially goes away after completion. I'm a little confused because this sounds like a special committee to me however other members believe this should remain as standing. Can someone advise on the type of committee this would be? 

My follow up questions if this is a special committee, would an amendment have to be submitted to remove it from the bylaws?

Lastly, would the president then have to appoint this as a special committee and where should duties of a special committee be? 

Can you please reference pages so I can refer back to?

Thank you for your help! 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Although it is described as a "committee" in the bylaws, it does not seem to me to be a committee in the parliamentary sense; and, I doubt that this group has any need for parliamentary procedure, since, from the description of it, the committee does not seem to deliberate.

However it is styled, I would submit that this is really an administrative group charged to execute some tasks that have been assigned to it.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Angie N said:

There is a standing committee in our bylaws that sends out various cards for graduation, weddings, showers, etc. From what I've read in RONR, a special committee performs a specific task and essentially goes away after completion. I'm a little confused because this sounds like a special committee to me however other members believe this should remain as standing. Can someone advise on the type of committee this would be? 

It certainly could be handled as either. The organization could have a standing committee "that sends out various cards for graduation, weddings, showers, etc." This committee would have continuing existence and a consistent membership, and it would send out various cards for such graduations, weddings, showers, and such other events. The committee might not have a lot to do in between events, but its existence would continue and the committee would be ready to act again when another event arises.

In the alternative, the assembly could appoint a special committee for this purpose, however, this would mean that the committee would cease its existence after it is done sending out cards for the current event(s) it was established for, and therefore a new special committee would need to be created when new events which require cards to be sent arise.

Which is better is up to the organization. I suppose it depends on how frequently these events occur and whether the assembly believes the same members would be suitable for a variety of events, or whether there might be value in having different members depending on the type of event.

3 hours ago, Angie N said:

My follow up questions if this is a special committee, would an amendment have to be submitted to remove it from the bylaws?

If it is desired to have this handled through special committees, then yes, it should be removed from the bylaws.

3 hours ago, Angie N said:

Lastly, would the president then have to appoint this as a special committee and where should duties of a special committee be? 

It would seem your rules provide that the President would appoint the members of special committees, although I'm not certain that means he can actually create special committees on his own authority. The duties of a special committee are generally specified in the motion creating the committee. If the President is, in fact, authorized to create special committees, I suppose he would just tell the committee what its duties are.

3 hours ago, Angie N said:

Can you please reference pages so I can refer back to?

I would review RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 489-492.

5 minutes ago, Rob Elsman said:

Although it is described as a "committee" in the bylaws, it does not seem to me to be a committee in the parliamentary sense; and, I doubt that this group has any need for parliamentary procedure, since, from the description of it, the committee does not seem to deliberate.

Oh, I don't know about that. Perhaps the committee designs/selects the cards as well and deliberates about that.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Rob Elsman said:

Although it is described as a "committee" in the bylaws, it does not seem to me to be a committee in the parliamentary sense; and, I doubt that this group has any need for parliamentary procedure, since, from the description of it, the committee does not seem to deliberate.

I disagree and agree with Mr. Martin.  I think this committee is unquestionably a committee.  For what it's worth, I know of several organizations which have similar committees.

As to creating a special committee to perform this function, I agree with Mr. Martin that a special committee could indeed be created to perform the same function, but I caution that no such special committee should be created as long as there is a standing committee charged with that function.  The following provision on page 492 of the 11th edition speaks directly to that issue.  Note the highlighted sentence:

A special (select, or ad hoc) committee is a committee appointed, as the need arises, to carry out a specified task, at the completion of which—that is, on presentation of its final report to the assembly—it automatically ceases to exist. A special committee may not be appointed to perform a task that falls within the assigned function of an existing standing committee.  (Emphasis added)

 

Edited by Richard Brown
added "in the 11th edition" to my page reference. Since the 12th edition will be coming out in two or three months, it is probably a good idea that we start specifying which edition our quotes and citations are coming from.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for your responses. They are all very helpful. I do have some follow-up questions. Doesn't the standing committee also have to report out to the chapter monthly? I think that was another part of my confusion in thinking this should be a special committee. 

Our bylaws does not say the president can create committees.Just appoint.  So for clarification the president can only appoint committees that are listed in the bylaws? 

 

We have a big fundraising event every 2 years. We do not have a fundraising committee in our bylaws. The president appoints the committee. Is this correct or does a motion have to be made to create the fundraising committee every 2 years?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, Richard Brown said:

I disagree and agree with Mr. Martin.  I think this committee is unquestionably a committee.  For what it's worth, I know of several organizations which have similar committees.

As to creating a special committee to perform this function, I agree with Mr. Martin that a special committee could indeed be created to perform the same function, but I caution that no such special committee should be created as long as there is a standing committee charged with that function.  The following provision on page 492 of the 11th edition speaks directly to that issue.  Note the highlighted sentence:

A special (select, or ad hoc) committee is a committee appointed, as the need arises, to carry out a specified task, at the completion of which—that is, on presentation of its final report to the assembly—it automatically ceases to exist. A special committee may not be appointed to perform a task that falls within the assigned function of an existing standing committee.  (Emphasis added)

 

Mr. Brown,

I have a follow-up question about special committee.  If we have another standing committee that sends out cards as a small part of their duties but not any of the cards listed in the standing committee 'A' that solely sends cards. (I hope that makes sense) Does that mean that standing committee 'A' can not be a special committee because another committee sends cards too?  

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Richard Brown said:

I disagree and agree with Mr. Martin.  I think this committee is unquestionably a committee.  For what it's worth, I know of several organizations which have similar committees.

As to creating a special committee to perform this function, I agree with Mr. Martin that a special committee could indeed be created to perform the same function, but I caution that no such special committee should be created as long as there is a standing committee charged with that function.  The following provision on page 492 of the 11th edition speaks directly to that issue.  Note the highlighted sentence:

A special (select, or ad hoc) committee is a committee appointed, as the need arises, to carry out a specified task, at the completion of which—that is, on presentation of its final report to the assembly—it automatically ceases to exist. A special committee may not be appointed to perform a task that falls within the assigned function of an existing standing committee.  (Emphasis added)

 

Mr Brown,

I have a follow-up question about special committee. If another standing Committee sends out cards as part of their duties but none of the cards  standing committee 'A'  (which solely does cards) sends. Does this mean Standing committee 'A' can not become a special Committee because another standing Committee already sends cards? 

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Angie N said:

Doesn't the standing committee also have to report out to the chapter monthly?

No.

"In most societies it is customary to hear reports from all officers (47, 48), boards (49), and standing committees (50) only at annual meetings. At other meetings the chair calls only on those who have reports to make," (RONR, 11th ed., pg. 355)

3 hours ago, Angie N said:

Our bylaws does not say the president can create committees.Just appoint.  So for clarification the president can only appoint committees that are listed in the bylaws? 

No, he could appoint members to special committees too, but they would need to be created by the assembly first.

3 hours ago, Angie N said:

We have a big fundraising event every 2 years. We do not have a fundraising committee in our bylaws. The president appoints the committee. Is this correct or does a motion have to be made to create the fundraising committee every 2 years?

Yes. The President can't appoint anyone to a committee which doesn't exist.

2 hours ago, Angie N said:

I have a follow-up question about special committee.  If we have another standing committee that sends out cards as a small part of their duties but not any of the cards listed in the standing committee 'A' that solely sends cards. (I hope that makes sense) Does that mean that standing committee 'A' can not be a special committee because another committee sends cards too?  

I think it would be necessary to review the exact wording of the rules in question to make a definitive answer, but generally I am inclined to think that if a standing committee sends out cards for certain purposes as a part of the committee's duties, this does not prevent the creation of a special committee which has the duty of sending out cards for different purposes.

Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Angie N said:

We have a big fundraising event every 2 years. We do not have a fundraising committee in our bylaws. The president appoints the committee. Is this correct or does a motion have to be made to create the fundraising committee every 2 years?

 

21 minutes ago, Josh Martin said:

Yes. The President can't appoint anyone to a committee which doesn't exist.

I agree with the answer by Mr.  Martin, but I  don't believe it actually answers Angie N's question.  Yes, the president can appoint the members to a new committee, but a motion must first be made adopted to create the committee.  The president can't create the committee.  He can only appoint the members of it.   And if it is a special committee to raise funds for a particular event, even if it is a recurring event. a new committee must be authorized (created) for each event.  If it is desired to have a permanent committee for this, it should be a standing committee.

Edited by Richard Brown
Changed "made" to "adopted" in the second sentence
Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Richard Brown said:

I disagree and agree with Mr. Martin.  I think this committee is unquestionably a committee.  For what it's worth, I know of several organizations which have similar committees.

 

Richard, I too know of organizations that have committees like this.  Also, there are decisions that the Committee has to make: are there specific birthdays/anniversaries that they will send cards out for or all birthdays/anniversaries?  How long before those events does the card have to be sent out?  How will the card be sent (electronically or by 'snail mail' or hand delivered)?  Where do you purchase the cards from?

Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of points.

While others have said that this could be a standing or a special committee, the way it is described seems to be more in keeping with a standing committee.  "Standing committees are constituted to perform a continuing function" (RONR 11th ed., p. 490, lines 32-33) and this seems to be a continuing function, unless there will be no more graduations, weddings, showers, etc. or the organization decides to stop sending cards for these events.

I also noted the comment:

7 hours ago, Rob Elsman said:

Although it is described as a "committee" in the bylaws, it does not seem to me to be a committee in the parliamentary sense; and, I doubt that this group has any need for parliamentary procedure, since, from the description of it, the committee does not seem to deliberate.

I don't think a committee needs to deliberate in order to be a committee. "A committee, as understood in parliamentary law, is a body of one or more persons, elected or appointed by (or by direction of) an assembly or society, to consider, investigate, or take action on certain matters or subjects, or to do all of these things." (p. 489, lines 23-24, emphasis added).

This committee's duty appears to be to take action. That would seem to be enough, unless I'm missing something.

A question arises that goes beyond @Angie N's query. Can it be assumed that the committee has been appointed "with power" even if it is not explicitly mentioned in the bylaws? In other words, do those two words need to be in the description of the committee or can the assigned duties make it clear that the committee has the power to take all steps to carry out its instructions?

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Atul Kapur said:

A question arises that goes beyond @Angie N's query. Can it be assumed that the committee has been appointed "with power" even if it is not explicitly mentioned in the bylaws? In other words, do those two words need to be in the description of the committee or can the assigned duties make it clear that the committee has the power to take all steps to carry out its instructions?

I think that if the committee's duties as described in the bylaws make it clear that the committee is to take the specified actions without further direction, then the absence of the words "with power" doesn't preclude the committee doing so.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Weldon Merritt said:

I think that if the committee's duties as described in the bylaws make it clear that the committee is to take the specified actions without further direction, then the absence of the words "with power" doesn't preclude the committee doing so.

I agree.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...