Robert’s Rules of Order Revised > 11. Miscellaneous. > 65. Order of Business.

Henry M. Robert (1837–1923).  Robert’s Rules of Order Revised.  1915.

65. Order of Business.

It is customary for every society having a permanent existence to adopt an order of business for its meetings. When no rule has been adopted, the following is the order:
Reading the Minutes of the previous meeting [and their approval].
Reports of Boards and Standing Committees.
Reports of Special (Select) Committees.
Special Orders.
Unfinished Business and General Orders.
New Business.
  The minutes are read only once a day at the beginning of the day’s business. The second item includes the reports of all Boards of Managers, Trustees, etc., as well as reports of such officers as are required to make them. The fifth item includes, first, the business pending and undisposed of at the previous adjournment; and then the general orders that were on the calendar for the previous meeting and were not disposed of; and finally, matters postponed to this meeting that have not been disposed of.   2
  The secretary should always have at every meeting a memorandum of the order of business for the use of the presiding officer, showing everything that is to come before the meeting. The chairman, as soon as one thing is disposed of, should announce the next business in order. When reports are in order he should call for the different reports in their order, and when unfinished business is in order he should announce the different questions in their proper order, as stated above, and thus always keep the control of the business.   3
  If it is desired to transact business out of its order, it is necessary to suspend the rules [22], which can be done by a two-thirds vote. But, as each resolution or report comes up, a majority can at once lay it on the table, and thus reach any question which it desires first to dispose of. It is improper to lay on the table or to postpone a class of questions like reports of committees, or in fact anything but the question before the assembly.   4


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