Wednesday, 5 July 2017

WHY ARE MINUTES OF YOUR MEETINGS ESSENTIAL?

The answer is that they are required by Section 50 the Associations Incorporation Act, 2009 and must be kept by the Secretary.  Similarly corporations are required to keep minutes of meetings too.  Members may at all reasonable times inspect the minutes although Shareholders of corporations have only limited ability to view minutes of Directors meetings.

There are no absolute rules about how minutes of meetings should be set out other than they need to be in English and be reasonably understood.

To minimize controversy (and possible litigation), we suggest that minutes have included in it a list of those attending, those who apologise, incoming /outgoing correspondence (including emails and other web based messaging) and most importantly a Treasurer’s (or Finance report).

Also there should always be a motion to confirm the previous minutes with or without amendments. The Chairperson should sign the minutes and date them to certify they are correct. We find that circulating minutes of the previous meeting and reports (particularly via Email) to be helpful in reducing time in having minutes read out at subsequent meetings.

Motions need to be accurately set out by the Secretary in the minutes and he or she should indicate in some many that they were carried or lost or amended and carried.  The Chairperson should always ask for either a show of hands or may even pass the motion on the voices.  Too often the Chairperson fails to declare the motion as past and that can lead to controversy.  Some motions require either by Law or by the Rules to have secret ballots and those rules must be strictly adhered to avoid litigation.

All Chairperson, the Executive and members should read articles on the internet about meeting procedure.

We also find that so many Secretaries fail to an essential in Minutes being the meeting date and where it was held.  It is also helpful to put in start and finish times of the meeting.

If you have questions on Minutes, Meeting Procedure or anything else, please contact any of our Solicitors at Matthews Williams.

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