A question has been received from Lance, in Port Elizabeth, a South African subscriber about the minutes of an AGM.

The minutes of the AGM are approved as an accurate record at the next AGM and this causes some confusion because some minute takers think, therefore, that they do not have to distribute the minutes until then – a year later! This is incorrect.

Even though the minutes don’t get approved until the next AGM, they should still be distributed or, at the very least, be made available on request, within a few days of the AGM of which they are the record.

The reason is that the members of the organisation require the minutes to implement the decisions which were made and since decisions at AGM’s are nearly always major involving things like policy, fees, major projects etc, the minutes need to be in the hands of the members as quickly as possible.

There is another major reason and that is that the AGM minutes will contain (or should contain) the year’s financial report and all members have the right to have a copy of the financial status of the organisation.

It is the case that the AGM minutes will probably need to be distributed just before the next AGM so that people have a copy to approve at the next AGM.

The next ordinary meeting approves the minutes of the last ordinary meeting, not the AGM, even though it may have been the most recent meeting.

Exactly the same applies to SGM’s – Special General Meetings.

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. This is not, and should not be taken as legal advice. All suggestions and procedures are provided in good faith as general guidelines only and should be used in conjunction with appropriate advice relevant legislation, constitutions, rules, laws, by-laws, and with reasonable judgement. If you are in any doubt, seek appropriate advice.

This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Chris Durant

    To which body ‘belongs’ the minutes of an AGM?
    To the retiring committee or the new committee?
    Can the new committee therefore rewrite the minutes to their own satisfaction if they dispute some items in them or must they await the next AGM to raise objection and propose their own version?
    Our 2019 committee has significantly rewritten last years 2018 AGM minutes and threatened some members who object to this happening.
    Thanks

    1. David Price

      The AGM minutes “belong” to the whole organisation – neither one or the other committee.
      The only body that can alter the minutes is the membership at the next General Meeting – probably your AGM.
      If the minutes were written properly, there should be no opportunity for them to be re-written – they are either accurate or not.
      I hope this helps.

  2. Narina

    What if the minutes if previous AGM is not available with the next meeting?

    1. David Price

      There is not a lot you can do if they are not available. But the real issue is why they are not available. If they have simply been lost, then put in strategies to make sure it does not happen again.
      If however, they have deliberately not been made available, then there are some questions to be asked.

  3. John Hunter

    Hi, In a monthly residents committee meeting in a retirement Village should the minutes of the meeting be available to the residents shortly after the meeting or not until after being confirmed at the following monthly meeting?

    Regards

    John

    1. David Price

      Thank you for your question John,
      Many people would argue that the minutes should not be released until they have been confirmed and I can see the logic in that. However, I have a different view.
      There are two elements. the first is that the minutes are rarely changed at the next meeting and if they are, it is usually for minor matters, and so why not release then as “unconfirmed minutes” to anyone who wants to see them.
      The second is more important. You are all residents of the village and so you have a right (in my opinion) to see everything that the committee discusses unless there are confidential items regarding staffing or the like. My view therefore, is that the minutes should be available to every resident who is entitled to see them, whenever they request. To withhold them send a message of a lack of transparency, which cen led to suspicion and/or mistrust and that leads to conflict you don’t need to have.
      I suggest that everything is available to everybody and that way you have total transparency.

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