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Notice of a Meeting

Completion requirements

It is important to recognise that the various customs, conventions and practices that have become traditional in the manner in which meetings are conducted have been built up over a period of many years in the light of the advantages to be derived from their adoption. Furthermore, by following these well-tried protocols and procedures, the office-bearers will be able to justify any particular course of action, which may have to be defended. Subsequent attacks by dissatisfied or irascible members who find it temptingly easy to be “wise after the event” and to criticise the actions of the executive committee with the benefit of hindsight.

People in the business need to draft the notices, agendas and minutes of various meetings. Since these are legal documents, care should be taken to use correct terms and reporting. The modern tendency towards informality has resulted in considerable flexibility as to the format.

A notice is sent to everyone who is entitled to be invited to attend the meeting, i.e. a meeting is convened. The intended readers and type of meeting determine whether a formal or an informal layout and style of writing should be used.

The period of notice given is as prescribed in the rules and regulations of the organisation relating to the convening of meetings, or, if there are no such rules and regulations, or if they do not deal with the matter, then a reasonable period should be given, giving everyone concerned the opportunity of attending. A period of seven days is usually found to be the best.

It is important that the notice has been properly authorised by the right person(s), as prescribed in the rules and regulations if any, or by the executive committee.

The notice should be definite, that is, it has not been made conditional upon the happening of any other event – such as that the weather is not too cold.

The notice is explicit regarding the day, time and venue of the meeting. The time, date and the place where the meeting is to be held must be reasonably convenient for all those invited to attend.

The notice gives a clear indication of the business of the meeting, the purpose for which the meeting has been convened, so that a member can decide whether his interest is affected and whether he wishes to attend the meeting or not.

If you should consider the above information, it is obvious that the notice of a meeting is very important. Any irregularity regarding the above-mentioned could have serious consequences: a member who had a valid complaint could, by obtaining a court order, have the meeting invalidated and all the business transacted there are declared null and void. It is therefore of great importance that these points regarding the notice of any given meeting should be carefully observed and scrupulously adhered to.