This includes any reports received from any of the groups’ officers or committees. As minute-taker, you must summarize any reports or other documents presented at the meeting and then either attach them to the minutes as an appendix or refer to them in the minutes as “filed.”
If a report was sent to the group for information purposes only, indicate the report was “received.”
If a report was presented orally, or accompanied the report with a verbal explanation, indicate the report was “presented.”
If the report contains a statement of opinion and facts, and concludes with resolutions, then you should record that the report was “adopted” or “accepted.” A report could also be “considered” if the group wants to look at it further.
When the group decides to “adopt” a committee’s resolutions, enter the resolution in full into the minutes. With a particularly important report, the group may order it “to be entered into the minutes.” In that case you must include the whole report in the minutes.
After someone moves either to accept or to adopt a report, the report is then open to amendment by the group.
Finances are usually discussed under the treasurer’s report. No action is required for this type of report. In fact, it is technically improper to approve the treasurer’s report unless it has been audited. A treasurer’s annual report is different. It will be in written form and should be audited. Then a motion and a vote are required on accepting the auditor’s report.
Letters, faxes, and e-mails sent to the group are usually read by the secretary and either filed or attached to the appendix of the minutes. Telephone conversations may also be handled in this way.
Unfinished Business or Business Arising from Previous Meeting
This involves motions or issues brought up at earlier meetings and deferred to the current meeting, details of follow-up, and new actions as a result of previously handled business.
This portion of the meeting is devoted to the introduction of new information. It may also include handing specific tasks to specific members of the group and setting deadlines.
The chair may call for a motion to adjourn or may adjourn the meeting themselves after ascertaining there is no further business.
As minute-taker, you would record something like this:
Record the date, time, and location of the next meeting.
Highly formal groups still prefer, “Respectfully submitted,” before any signatures, although this is usually omitted for other groups. However, the minute-taker’s signature and title should appear at the end of the minutes. The minute-taker may also choose to include the date when the final preparation of the minutes was completed. This is optional.
In formal minutes, the chair initials all pages of the minutes and signs the last page to prevent any alterations.