Promoting the study and teaching of Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised
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The record of the proceedings of a deliberative assembly
is usually called the Minutes, or the Record, or the Journal. In the meetings of
ordinary societies, there is no object in reporting the debates; the duty of the
secretary, in such cases, is mainly to record what is "done" by the
assembly, and not what is said by the members. The minutes should show:
Kind of meeting, "regular" (or stated) or "special," or "adjourned regular" or "adjourned
Name of the organization or assembly;
Date/time of meeting and place, when it is not always the
The fact of the presence of the regular chairman and
secretary, or in their absence the names of their substitutes,
Whether the minutes of the previous meeting were read
and approved, or approved as corrected, and the date of the meeting if other
than a regular business meeting;
All main motions (except such as were withdrawn) and
motions that bring a main question again before the assembly, stating the
wording as adopted or disposed of, and the disposition--including temporary
disposition (with any primary and secondary amendments and adhering
secondary motions then pending;
Secondary motions not lost or withdrawn where needed
for clarity of the minutes;
Previous notice of motions;
Points of order and appeals, and reasons the chair
gives for the ruling;
Time of adjournment.
Generally the name is recorded of the mover, but not of the seconder, unless ordered by the assembly. When corrections
to the minutes are made by the assembly, the corrections are made in the written
text of the minutes being approved, and the minutes of the meeting where they
are corrected merely state that the minutes were approved �as corrected�,
without actually stating the details of those corrections.
The secretary should sign the minutes, and in some
societies the minutes are also signed by the president. When the minutes are
approved, the word "Approved" should be written on the minutes with
the secretary�s initials and the date.
The essentials of a record should be entered, as
previously stated, and when a count has been ordered or where the vote is by
ballot, the number of votes on each side should be entered.
When the voting is by roll call, a list of the names of those voting on
each side should be entered, and those answering �Present�, and enough names
of those present, who fail to respond, to reflect that a quorum was present.
Where the regular meetings are held weekly, monthly, or
quarterly, the minutes are read at the opening of each day's meeting, and, after
correction should be approved. Where the meetings are held several days in
succession with recesses during the day, the minutes are read at the opening of
business each day. If the next meeting of the organization will not be held for
a long period, as six months or a year, the minutes that have not been read
previously should be read and approved before final adjournment. If this is not
practical, then the executive committee or a special committee should be
authorized to correct and approve them. A special meeting does not approve
minutes, and its minutes should be approved at the next regular meeting.
When the reading of the minutes is dispensed with they can
afterwards be taken up at any time when nothing is pending. If not taken up
previously, they come before the assembly at the next meeting before the reading
of the later minutes....
For additional information, refer to
10th ed. pp. 451-458.
Robert's Rules says that all MAIN motions
should be shown in the
minutes. However, at a meeting, the secretary
will have a need to record nearly all motions
and what was done (their disposition), recording
details that are not intended to show up in the final draft to be
submitted for approval at the next regular meeting.
These notes will then be edited
and condensed so that secondary motions,
e.g. amendments, are not listed separately in the
minutes, but are incorporated into the final wording
that is the exact same wording used by the chair in putting the question to a
vote and/or otherwise disposing of the main motion. The final draft will show
all MAIN motions, as amended, and will not show the evolution of the wording of
a motion during its amendment. Thus, a half-dozen handwritten pages may become a
single typewritten page.
For example, the final draft minutes
may be worded as follows:
After amendment, a motion by H.M.
Robert was adopted, "that the club purchase a new laptop computer for use by the
secretary in preparing minutes and other correspondence, at a cost not to exceed
The fact that the motion was amended is
mentioned only parenthetically, without providing details.