Select a Category above or submit a question and I’ll post a response.

Kevin from Fresno in the USA has asked this question.

This is very similar to a post I made a couple of weeks ago, but has a different emphasis

There is a large distinction between the operation and deliberations of a board, and an ordinary meeting of members. A board is tasked with setting budgets, considering and setting priorities, and making decisions for the operation and the strategy for the organisation. It may also have to manage staffing issues and a range of legal issues may also need to be addressed.

An ordinary meeting of members should receive reports from the board of course, but the minutes of board meetings are generally only made available to the directors – the board members. This is not always the case though. Some boards, especially boards of small organisations, make their board minutes available to the general membership.

Minutes of ordinary meetings of the members should be made available to everyone and in today’s word of email, they should be available within 24 – 48 hours of the meeting – there is absolutely no reason why this cannot be done. Some organisations though, only send out minutes which are confirmed (at the next meeting) to people who were not at the meeting. But for people who attended the meeting, the minutes should be available within a day or two.

And so the answer to Kevin’s question is – the board minutes are for the board members generally. The ordinary meeting minutes are for everyone.

Please Note: The author accepts no responsibility for anything which occurs directly or indirectly as a result of using any of the suggestions or procedures detailed in this blog. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement.

David Julian Price

[email protected]




9 thoughts on “Access to minutes – who can see board minutes and who can see ordinary meeting minutes?

  1. After moving and seconding the minutes of meeting and financial report by secretary and treasurer, is it put to a vote ?

  2. Absolutely. Every motion must be put to the vote. Moving and seconding a motion does nothing but allow the meeting to decide.

    It is always better for someone other than the secretary and treasurer to put the motions about the minutes and financial report. It makes it then completely impartial and removes any doubt about accuracy.

  3. We’re have 2 meetings a year Spring General and our AGM (fall). In the fall we read our AGM minutes from the last AGM should the minutes from the spring meeting be read at that time as well? WHen do the spring mintues get approval Would like this clarified as we’re not sure

  4. I am a the manager of the clubhouse for our golf course. I am tasked to be at the meetings, actually written into my contract. Should I not have access to the meeting minutes?

    • Logically, it would seem sensible for you to have access to the minutes. However, even though it is in your contract, perhaps they only want you there as a an observer. If that is the case, then that may be why you don’t get access to the minutes.
      I suggest you ask the chair or the person you are responsible to if there is a particular reason you do not receive the minutes.

  5. J
    Does a person who has made threats of legal action towards a corporation have a right to minutes book

    • It depends on the jurisdiction I would think. It is a legal question and I am not a lawyer so I suggest you consult a lawyer in your jurisdiction for advice.
      My “non-lawyer” answer would be that a threat is nothing more than that – a threat so they have no more access than anyone else. If legal action commences, then I would think the minutes would probably become evidence.

  6. Hi there, can a current Board member request to see minutes from the past when she was not board member then? FYI, we don’t share our minutes with public.

    Also, can a board member request to view the minutes from a committee which she is not a member of the committee?

    thanks in advance for your help.

    • A board is a “living thing” – it’s just that the people change. So yes, a board member should generally be able to see the minutes of past board meetings except if there is confidential information contained that it simply is not appropriate for a new board member to see.
      If a committee is set up by the board, then yes, generally they should have access to thos minutes. If the committee is completely separate to the board, then probably not.

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