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Robert's Rules of Order Video blog

ROBERT'S RULES REVEALED: EP #03 – How to Handle Committee Recommendations

Wednesday, August 01, 2012 - Susan Leahy

Hi I’m Susan Leahy from, and welcome to this episode of Roberts Rules Revealed. To be sure you don’t miss a single episode. Subscribe to our YouTube channel now. Today, we’re going to be talking to Ann McFarlane from Jurassic Parliament, and her and I are going to be shedding light on some very interesting customer questions.

SUSAN: So when I was doing a Webinar last week I had an individual ask me a question that I have heard several times so I thought it would be important to answer this question, and that is how do I handle a committee report that includes a recommendation? And so Ann, I’m going to pass this over to you if you can explain to us exactly how to handle a committee report that includes a recommendation.

ANN: That’s a great question Susan, and few people know the answer. Committee reports of course have their place on the agenda and customarily the chair of the committee or her representative would present the report and would finish by moving the recommendation. Since it comes from a committee no second is needed. So people might be confused. So the chair would say, “since this comes from a committee, no second is needed, we will now have discussion.”

SUSAN: Yeah and I think its important for people to understand why it doesn’t need a second from a committee because a second signifies that there is at least one other person that finds this topic is worthy of discussion and if this is coming from a committee there is obviously one or two or several other people who have found this topic worthy to discuss that’s why they are bringing the recommendation to the board, correct?

ANN: That’s exactly right; people misunderstand the nature of a second. A second is not some kind of imprimatur or magic trick that has to happen it just means that at least two people want to talk about it.

SUSAN: That’s right, and that saves a lot of time. It means that someone else finds it interesting enough to give it a little faith to talk about and to consider. I think that this is a really important one to understand, that when a committee report comes before the body the individual reading the report makes the motion and there is no second needed to follow because all committee reports come with an implied second.

ANN: Yes you just jump right in.

SUSAN: So very important we don’t waste any more time and we move right in to discussing the committee report. Well I think that’s important thank you for sharing that information and there you have it, having a handle on committee reports that include a recommendation.
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