Committee Minutes & Club by-laws:  Maintaining up-to-date records

Most of us have attended a committee meeting when something has come up which you know has been discussed, or common-sense dictates that it must have been, and a decision made in the past. Unless you have an easily available and well set out index you may be hard pressed to find out when and what took place. As we know committees often change annually so even if this problem has been addressed in the past two years, you may be the only person aware of what had actually taken place. Being able to locate it quickly and inform the committee of the decision previously taken will not only improve your standing within the committee but also prevent them from making a decision which may well have to be rectified at a subsequent meeting. Try and keep the Index fairly simple so that it is easy to access it and find what you are looking for. To keep the index annually is advisable so that all the minutes for 2019 have the number 19 in them which means that you can quickly refer to the year in question. It is often a good policy, as part of their induction, to brief newly elected members to the committee by giving them copies of the previous years’ minutes, along with a briefing on their expected role on the committee. You should select from your index the important minutes of previous years that are still in force, so that newcomers are made aware of what has been agreed and are still, in effect, the rules of the club. Normally a club committee can change the club by-laws without approval from the membership at an annual general/special meeting, but changes of rules would need approval at one of those meetings. Always make sure you have an up to date list of approved club by-laws which should agree with those in your index. Also, you must keep a current copy of the club rules, with any amendments or additions that have been passed prior to having them reprinted. These days it pays to have the rules on your computer so that alterations can be easily added, and printed copies made available for new members. Remember that committee members change frequently so that in time you, as the manager will become the guardian of the club rules and by-laws and will be expected to supply the answers to most queries at committee meetings. Therefore, if you keep everything in order, you will make your job easier and gain the respect and confidence of the members.
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