Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting (abbreviation MoM), protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting or hearing. They typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues.
The name "minutes" possibly derives from the Latin phrase minuta scriptura (literally "small writing") meaning "rough notes".
Minutes may be created during the meeting by a typist or court reporter, who may use shorthand notation and then prepare the minutes and issue them to the participants afterwards. Alternatively, the meeting can be audio recorded, video recorded, or a group's appointed or informally assigned secretary may take notes, with minutes prepared later. Many government agencies use minutes recording software to record and prepare all minutes in real-time.
Minutes are the official written record of the meetings of an organization or group. They are not transcripts of those proceedings. Using Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), the minutes should contain mainly a record of what was done at the meeting, not what was said by the members.The organization may have its own rules regarding the content of the minutes.
For most organizations or groups, it is important for the minutes to be terse and only include a summary of the decisions.A verbatim report (transcript) is typically not useful. Unless the organization's rules require it, a summary of the discussions in a meeting is neither necessary nor appropriate.
The minutes of certain groups, such as a corporate board of directors, must be kept on file and are important legal documents.Minutes from board meetings are kept separately from minutes of general membership meetings within the same organization. Also, minutes of executive sessions may be kept separately. Committees are not required to keep formal minutes although less formal notes may be taken. For committees, their formal records are the reports submitted to their parent body.
The format of the minutes can vary depending on the standards established by an organization, although there are general guidelines.Robert's Rules of Order contains a sample set of minutes.
Generally, minutes begin with the name of the body holding the meeting (e.g., a board) and may also include the place, date, list of people present, and the time that the chair called the meeting to order.
Since the primary function of minutes is to record the decisions made, all official decisions must be included. If a formal motion is proposed and seconded, then (regardless whether it passes) this is recorded.The voting tally may also be included. The part of the minutes dealing with a routine motion might note merely that a particular motion was "moved by Ann and passed". It is not strictly necessary to include the name of the person who seconds a motion. Where a tally is included, it is sufficient to record the number of people voting for and against a motion, but requests by participants to note their votes by name may be allowed. If a decision is made by roll-call vote, then all of the individual votes are recorded by name. If it is made by general consent without a formal vote, then this fact may be recorded.
The minutes may end with a note of the time that the meeting was adjourned.
Minutes are sometimes submitted by the person who is responsible for them (often the secretary) at a subsequent meeting for review. The traditional closing phrase is "Respectfully submitted" (although this is no longer common), followed by the officer's signature, his or her typed (or printed) name, and his or her title.
Usually, one of the first items in an order of business or an agenda for a meeting is the reading and approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. If the members of the group agree (usually by unanimous consent) that the written minutes reflect what happened at the previous meeting, then they are approved, and the fact of their approval is recorded in the minutes of the current meeting.If there are significant errors or omissions, then the minutes may be redrafted and submitted again at a later date. Minor changes may be made immediately using the normal amendment procedures, and the amended minutes may be approved "as amended". It is normally appropriate to send a draft copy of the minutes to all the members in advance of the meeting so that the meeting is not delayed by a reading of the draft.
Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, commonly referred to as Robert's Rules of Order, RONR, or simply Robert's Rules, is a political book written by Henry Martyn Robert. It is the most widely used manual of parliamentary procedure in the United States. It governs the meetings of a diverse range of organizations—including church groups, county commissions, homeowners associations, nonprofit associations, professional societies, school boards, and trade unions—that have adopted it as their parliamentary authority.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of ethics, rules, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies.
In parliamentary procedure, a point of order occurs when someone draws attention to a rules violation in a meeting of a deliberative assembly.
A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons that is subordinate to a deliberative assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than would be possible if the assembly itself were considering them. Committees may have different functions and their types of work differ depending on the type of the organization and its needs.
A censure is an expression of strong disapproval or harsh criticism. In parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote. Among the forms that it can take are a stern rebuke by a legislature, a spiritual penalty imposed by a church, or a negative judgment pronounced on a theological proposition. It is usually non-binding, unlike a motion of no confidence.
An agenda is a list of meeting activities in the order in which they are to be taken up, beginning with the call to order and ending with adjournment. It usually includes one or more specific items of business to be acted upon. It may, but is not required to, include specific times for one or more activities. An agenda may also be called a docket, schedule, or calendar. It may also contain a listing of an order of business.
In parliamentary procedure, unanimous consent, also known as general consent, or in the case of the parliaments under the Westminster system, leave of the house, is a situation in which no member present objects to a proposal.
A parliamentary authority is a book of rules on conducting business in deliberative assemblies. A group generally creates its own rules and then adopts such a book to cover meeting procedure not covered in its rules. Different books have been used by organizations and by legislative assemblies.
In US parliamentary procedure, the previous question is generally used as a motion to end debate on a pending proposal and bring it to an immediate vote. The meaning of this specialized motion has nothing to do with any question previously considered by the assembly.
In parliamentary procedure, reconsideration of a motion may be done on a matter previously decided. The motion to "reconsider" is used for this purpose. This motion originated in the United States and is generally not used in parliaments. A special form of this motion is reconsider and enter on the minutes.
In parliamentary procedure, the motion to postpone indefinitely is a subsidiary motion used to kill a main motion without taking a direct vote on it. This motion does not actually "postpone" it.
In parliamentary procedure, a motion to appeal from the decision of the chair is used to challenge a ruling of the chair.
In parliamentary procedure, a motion is a formal proposal by a member of a deliberative assembly that the assembly take certain action. Such motions, and the form they take, are specified by the deliberate assembly and/or a pre-agreed volume detailing parliamentary procedure, such as Robert's Rules of Order, Newly Revised; The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure; or Lord Critine's The ABC of Chairmanship. Motions are used in conducting business in almost all legislative bodies worldwide, and are used in meetings of many church vestries, corporate boards, and fraternal organizations.
In parliamentary procedure, a motion to postpone to a certain time is used to delay action on a pending question until a different day, meeting, hour or until after a certain event. Then, when that time comes, the consideration of the question is picked up where it was left off when it was postponed.
Debate in parliamentary procedure refers to discussion on the merits of a pending question; that is, whether it should or should not be agreed to. It is also commonly referred to as "discussion".
In a deliberative assembly, disciplinary procedures are used to punish members for violating the rules of the assembly.
In parliamentary procedure, requests and inquiries are motions used by members of a deliberative assembly to obtain information or to do or have something done that requires permission of the assembly. Except for a request to be excused from a duty, these requests and inquiries are not debatable nor amendable.
Parliamentary procedure is the body of rules, ethics, and customs governing meetings and other operations of clubs, organizations, legislative bodies, and other deliberative assemblies. General principles of parliamentary procedure include rule of the majority with respect for the minority.
In parliamentary procedure, the verb to table has the opposite meaning in different countries:
A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a chief executive officer varies, depending on the structure of the specific organization. In a similar vein to a chief operating officer, the title of corporate president as a separate position is also loosely defined; the president is usually the legally recognized highest rank of corporate officer, ranking above the various vice presidents, but on its own generally considered subordinate, in practice, to the CEO. The powers of a president vary widely across organizations and such powers come from specific authorization in the bylaws like Robert's Rules of Order.