So how do you put together minutes? Unless you publish minutes (called transactions, proceedings or transcriptions – a literal word by word copy of the meeting) minutes record only what is decided, not what is said during a meeting. Items are recorded in the order tha5t they happen, rather than in the order that they are planned. It is important that the minutes are a fair, impartial representation of what was decided by the participants. Here are a few tips pertaining to the order and content of meeting minutes:
Content of Minutes
- First Paragraph. In the first paragraph(s), it is important to note the time that the meeting was called to order, what type of meeting was being held (Regular, Special, Adjourned Regular or Adjourned Special), name of organization, date and time of meeting, who was presiding, who was taking minutes and the status of the the previous meeting’s minutes (approved as read, approved as corrected, etc.). Optionally the location of the meeting and the persons in attendance.
- Body of Minutes. Each item of business should be a separate paragraph in the minutes minutes. Each paragraph should include: the maker of the motion or giver of the report; any main motion (or “bring back” motion) worded as it is adopted, provided it is not withdrawn from consideration; any secondary motions not withdrawn or lost as necessary for clarity and completeness; all appeals and points of order raised during consideration of the main motion; and all notices of motions. Roll call votes and the final vote for adoption — if counted — are also recorded. Typically, the seconder’s and speaker’s names are not entered in the minutes (unless the assembly orders them to be included). Officer and committee reports are only noted in the minutes that they were given during the meeting; the report itself may be attached to the minutes for completeness, but are not considered a part of the minutes.
- Last Paragraph. The final paragraph should contain the hour of adjournment and optionally, the date, time and place of the next meeting.
- Secretary’s Signature. The minutes should be signed by the secretary/recorder after they are completed. The words “respectfully submitted” are no longer required before the signature (see the Meeting FAQs on using these terms). Typically, the words “Approved on” followed by a blank space is placed below the signature. Optionally, the minutes may be signed by the presiding officer/chair/President, if directed by the assembly.
This concludes these tips concerning minutes. If you have other questions or comments concerning minutes, please feel free to contact me at my blog email.