By André Boersma, Paddocks Club Member
Compiling, editing, distributing and approving minutes takes time. In the case of general meetings, it can take up to a year before minutes are finally approved, by which time most of the decisions have already been implemented. Often doubt exists as to what was actually said or decided and whether the information in the proposed minutes is correct. Furthermore, those who must approve the minutes might not have been present at the meeting recorded in the proposed minutes. External entities such as banks, lawyers or the Community Schemes Ombud Service may insist on seeing approved and signed minutes—they cannot wait till the minutes are approved at the next meeting.
Is there an easier legitimate way to deal with these processes? Why, yes! Technology to the Rescue! The prescribed management rules include two that require minutes to be compiled, distributed and approved: PMR 9(e) requires trustees to compile and distribute minutes “as soon as reasonably possible” and “not later than 7 days” after the meeting and PMR 17(6)(f) requires owner approval of the minutes of any previous meetings. These two rules make it possible to compile, approve and sign streamlined minutes without delay for general or trustee meetings. Here is the 3-Step Process.
Before the meetings, compile outline/draft minutes based on the items on the agenda. After each item, leave a space where you can enter words recording the meeting’s decision and the votes cast for and against the resolution. Leave space at the beginning or end for other relevant information, such as the starting and ending times, the people present or represented and notes if people arrive or leave during the meeting.
Have a computer available at the meetings so you can capture the wording / information needed in the draft minutes as the meetings progress. After each agenda item is finalized or at the end of the meeting, read out or project on a screen the wording of the resolution and get a majority vote confirming this.
Read out any unconfirmed text in the minutes and get them approved; a printed version can be signed by two trustees, who certify it as the approved minutes.
The success of this method is dependent on proper preparation, as well as efficient recording and confirmation of information and texts during the meeting. The principal advantages are:
The minutes contain the correct information, approved by those present at the meeting, so the trustees have a reliable written mandate to implement the resolutions.
Approved and signed minutes are available on adjournment of the meeting, so disputes regarding the minutes should be reduced to a minimum.
Article reference: Paddocks Press: Volume 17, Issue 6.
André Boersma has been a long-standing Paddocks Club member. Join the Club to interact within the sectional title community.
This article is published under the Creative Commons Attribution license.