Parliamentary Procedure

Suggested Order of Business for a Meeting

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Call to Order

The presiding officer rises to gain the attention of the organization and says clearly, "The meeting will please come to order." (If the group is small, the presiding officer may choose to remain seated.) The presiding officer establishes whether a quorum is present and then asks if there are any additions to the agenda (a written agenda should be in the hands of all members).

Reading of the Minutes

The presiding officer calls on the secretary, using his/her full name, and asks them to read the minutes.

After the reading of the minutes, the presiding officer asks, "Are there any corrections?" If there are none, she/he says, "the minutes as read (or as corrected) stand approved."

The secretary writes "approved" with the date and signs their name.

If there are corrections to be made in the minutes, the secretary makes them on the margin of the minutes; if there is an objection, a formal vote of revised wording is necessary; if the minutes are approved and an error is discovered later, it may be corrected, but a voice vote is required to do so.

Communications

The name of the writer should be read first; letters may be read in detail or may be summarized by the presiding officer, the secretary or someone else who has read them previously.

Report of the Treasurer

The presiding officer calls on the treasurer, using her/his full name, and asks for their report.

The treasurer gives an oral report of all receipts and expenditures; hands a written report to the secretary who places it on file; and is prepared to answer any questions from the floor.

There is no motion to accept the report. The president says, "You have heard the treasurer's report. Are there any questions? If not, the report will be placed on file." The report is then made part of the minutes of the meeting.

At an annual meeting there should be a motion to adopt the auditor's report. This means that the organization accepts the opinion of the auditor.

Reports of Other Officers and Committees

The presiding officer calls on the officer or chair to give their report. A motion to accept, file, reject, or refer is in order after the report is given.

Reports of Activities of Committees or Any Other Groups

Reports may be given orally or submitted in writing to be placed on file with the secretary.

If a vote to accept the reports is not made, the presiding officer usually says, "We accept these reports with thanks."

Unfinished Business

The presiding officer, in consultation with the secretary and/or executive committee, should decide what items from the previous meeting need to be placed on the agenda for consideration by the organization.

New Business

Any member may introduce new business from the floor.

A motion should be made and recorded before an item of business is discussed. A motion is a proposal that the organization take a stand or take action on some issue.

Only one motion introducing an item of business may be under consideration at a given time.

A presiding officer should never accept a motion in the negative; they should ask the maker to reword the motion or assist in the rewording.

Announcements

The presiding officer or secretary makes any announcements necessary to inform the organization of other subjects and events of importance to the members.

Adjourning a Meeting

A motion for adjournment must be made, seconded, voted upon, the result announced, and the meeting adjourned. Only the presiding officer has the authority to dismiss the organization, and they have the authority only after it has been conferred upon them by a vote of the organization.

The presiding officer may, however, secure the organization's permission by silent consent after saying, "If there is no objection, the meeting is adjourned."