[KI-LC] RONR Rules of Quorum

Brett McDowell email at brettmcdowell.com
Thu Jan 21 13:03:17 EST 2010


That last point Trent is an interesting one.  Remember, RONR only applies for process we don't define ourselves.  It fills the gaps.  If we have a policy for something, our own policy always takes precedent over RONR.

On Jan 21, 2010, at 1:00 PM, J. Trent Adams wrote:

> 
> Conor -
> 
> Cahill, Conor P wrote:
>> Two points in response:
>> 
>> a) it's that the chair notices the *change in quorum* not that they 
>> notice something that might possibly indicate a potential change in
>> quorum.   Just because you hear a sound that sounds like somebody 
>> might have left, doesn't actually mean that someone has left or that
>> one of the members who were part of the quorum was the actual person
>> to leave.   It could have been someone else, you might have hearing
>> problems and be hearing things, etc., etc.   So I don't think this
>> means that we *must* recalculate quorum at ever beep on the call.
>> 
> 
> I agree that your interpretation is valid, albeit focused on the
> "letter" rather than the "spirit" of this particular passage in RONR.  I
> believe, however, that this is more about legitimizing work than
> adhering to rules.
> 
> IMO, the Chairs metaphorically plugging their ears when they hear a
> leaving beep (or announcement by someone they're leaving) doesn't fill
> me with happy feelings of goodness.
> 
>> b) The Kantara bylaws actually allow the meeting to proceed without
>> quorum -- we just have to get our actions approved afterwards.
>> 
>> Of course, as we've always managed it, any member can call for a 
>> quorum recalculation... so you or anyone else on the call can make
>> a motion to revalidate that we have quorum at any point.
>> 
> 
> This is in alignment with RONR (and what I suggested below). 
> Non-quorate business can continue, but must be re-introduced in the next
> quorum setting.  In our case, this could also be via email.
> 
>> I suggest we continue to operate as we always have.
>> 
> 
> What I believe you're suggesting is: We run meetings as quorate, after
> quorum has been established, until a failed call for quorum is made
> (regardless of other observable events).
> 
> If that's the case, I suggest that the LC make that clear by passing a
> motion to that effect.  As long as the rules are clear, we'll avoid
> future ongoing (and possibly endless) interpretive discussions.
> 
> - Trent
> 
>> Conor
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: lc-bounces at kantarainitiative.org [mailto:lc-bounces at kantarainitiative.org] On Behalf Of J. Trent Adams
>> Sent: Thursday, January 21, 2010 12:29 PM
>> To: LC at kantarainitiative.org
>> Subject: [KI-LC] RONR Rules of Quorum
>> 
>> 
>> All -
>> 
>> I spent some quality time reading Robert's Rules of Order (RONR) over
>> the holiday (yeah, I have no life).  I'd previously been relying on the
>> "... in Brief" version, but it was missing some good stuff.
>> 
>> The reason for this note is to share with WG/DG Chairs something I
>> uncovered regarding the management of quorum during a meeting.  While
>> we'd been operating under the assumption that as long as there is quorum
>> during a roll call, you're good to conduct business even if enough
>> people leave to drop out of quorum (until another roll call is made).
>> 
>> Unfortunately... RONR is a bit more strict than that.  Basically, as
>> soon as the Chair becomes aware (by any means) of someone leaving, they
>> are obligated to act accordingly.  The allowable actions without quorum
>> are: to set the date for the next meeting,  recess, take measures to
>> achieve quorum, and to adjourn.  No other actions are permitted.
>> 
>> For example, if there are exactly enough people on a teleconference to
>> make quorum, and the Chair hears a "leaving beep", he/she must take
>> appropriate action (which means discussion on the open topic can
>> continue, but no official action taken on it).  The Chair should try to
>> regain quorum (by pinging members via email/chat/etc.), and adjourn if
>> unsuccessful.  The folks can continue talking, but any further notes
>> taken must be clear they've been made after adjourning, and be read into
>> the minutes of the next quorate call for acceptance.
>> 
>> It's possible I've missed something (after all, it's a thick tome), so
>> I've copied the salient text below in case you spot something I didn't.
>> 
>> Thanks, and happy chairing.
>> 
>> - Trent
>> 
>> ----------
>> 
>> Roberts Rules of Order, Newly Revised
>> 10th Edition
>> 
>> 
>> Chapter XI: Quroum; Order of Business and Related Concepts
>> 
>> SS40. Quorum
>> p.337.33-p.338.28
>> 
>> 
>> SUMMARY:
>> -----
>> If the chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare
>> the fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any
>> new motion... Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can
>> make a point of order to that effect at any time so long as he does not
>> interrupt a person who is speaking.
>> -----
>> 
>> 
>> Manner of Enforcing the Quorum Requirement
>> 
>> Before the presiding officer calls a meeting to order, it is his duty to
>> determine, although he need not announce, that a quorum is present. If a
>> quorum is not present, the chair waits until there is one, or until,
>> after a reasonable time, there appears to be no prospect that a quorum
>> will assemble. If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair calls the
>> meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains a
>> motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described above.
>> 
>> When the chair has called a meeting to order after finding that a quorum
>> is present, the continued  presence of a quorum is presumed unless the
>> chair or a member notices that a quorum is no longer present. If the
>> chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare the
>> fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any new
>> motion -- which he can no longer do except in connection with the
>> permissible proceedings related to the absence of a quorum, as explained
>> above. Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can make a
>> point of order to that effect at any time so long as he does not
>> interrupt a person who is speaking. Debate on a question already pending
>> can be allowed to continue at length after a quorum is no longer
>> present, however, until a  member raises the point. Because of the
>> difficulty likely to be encountered in determining exactly how long the
>> meeting has been without a quorum in such cases, a point of order
>> relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect
>> prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of order
>> can be given effect retrospectively by a ruling of the presiding
>> officer, subject to appeal (24).*
>> 
>> *What happens to a question that is pending when a meeting adjourns
>> (because of the loss of a quorum or for any other reason) is determined
>> by the rules given on pages 228-29. If such a question, however, was
>> introduced as new business and it is proven that there was already no
>> quorum when it was introduced, its introduction was invalid and, to be
>> considered at a later meeting, it must again be brought up as new business.
>> 
>> -----
>> NOTE: The previously referenced allowable actions without quorum are: to
>> set the date for the next meeting,  recess, take measures to achieve
>> quorum, and to adjourn.  No other actions are permitted.
>> -----
>> 
>> ----------
>> 
>> 
> 
> -- 
> J. Trent Adams
> =jtrentadams
> 
> Outreach Specialist, Trust & Identity
> Internet Society
> http://www.isoc.org
> 
> e) adams at isoc.org
> o) 703-439-2149
> 
> 
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