How to approve annual meeting minutes

Many groups might be surprised to learn annual meeting minutes don’t have to be approved at the next annual meeting.

Many questions about parliamentary procedure are directed to Michigan State University Extension on a regular basis. One recent question was regarding approving the minutes from an annual meeting.

According to Roberts Rules of Order newly revised eleventh edition, “minutes for one annual meeting should not be held for action until the next one a year later, RONR (11th ed.), p. 94 ll. 25-35 p. 95 ll. 1-3.” Waiting for a year to resolve the official record of the group isn’t the best option for approving minutes, considering it’s unlikely that members will remember what occurred one year before. Additionally, the voting body may be composed of different members.

Approving the minutes of the annual meeting for a group who only holds one membership business meeting per year (perhaps leaving the day to day management of the organizations affairs to an executive board for the balance of the year) “can be done by assigning the task to an annual meeting minute’s approval committee or the executive board. As soon as possible after the annual meeting, this group would review the minutes, make corrections and submit them back to the secretary to become part of the official record of the meeting. The approved minutes can be part of the call to the meeting for the next annual meeting so that the membership can review the minutes the following year. This process allows the group to have official minutes without waiting an entire year.

Approving annual meeting minutes for groups who hold regular business meetings throughout the year but whose bylaws specify one of those regular meetings as the annual meeting should be done the next regular meeting.

Although the process for approving the annual meeting minutes may differ in these two examples the typical content is the same and should include annual reports of officers and standing committees, results from election of officers, other items of business prescribed by the bylaws for the annual meeting and ordinary business that may come up.

The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team offers training for elected and appointed officials for improved effectiveness in several areas, including various public policy issues and effects of government programs, regulation, incentives, strategies and more. By working together with local elected and appointed officials, and interested citizens, MSU Extension is able to provide education on critical local and state issues. The Michigan State University Extension Government and Public Policy team also offers professional training in parliamentary procedure. To contact an expert in your area, visit MSU Extension’s expert search system or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 

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