How to Correct a Mistake in Minutes Using Robert's Rules of Order

by Elaine Riot - Updated September 26, 2017
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Robert's Rules of Order is the definitive guide of how to conduct a public meeting. First written by Henry Martyn Robert in 1876, the book and its subsequent editions are based on current parliamentary procedure.

The minutes of a meeting are the official records of what transpired in that meeting. They're the documentation of motions, votes and committee reports. For the most part, the minutes are a record of what is done at each meeting, rather than what is said.

According to Robert's Rules of Order, meeting minutes should be read and approved at the beginning of each subsequent meeting. If there is an unusually long time between meetings--or if reading the minutes is impractical--the minutes may be approved, with the consent of the body, by the Chair and the executive committee.

Submit minutes for approval.

Ordinarily, a mistake in the minutes may be brought to the attention of the Chair. He will approve the correction informally. If there is some dispute regarding the correction, a vote should be taken on whether to approve the proposed amendment to the minutes.

Make a detailed note if a mistake in the minutes needs to be corrected.

Correct the text of the minutes that were approved. According to Robert's Rules of Order, the minutes of the meeting at which the corrections are made should state the minutes (of the previous meeting) "were approved as corrected."

To correct a mistake in the minutes after they have already been approved, a member must make a motion to "Amend Something Previously Adopted."

Input the exact wording of the motion to "Amend Something Previously Adopted" in the minutes of the meeting at which the motion was raise--and whether it was accepted or denied.

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About the Author

Elaine Riot has been writing professionally since 2001. Her work has been published online; in quarterly business, arts and education publications; and in B2B and consumer magazines. A natural wordsmith, Riot writes effective copy for a diverse clientele, including the University of Washington, Vulcan, Inc. and Amazon.com. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Texas at Austin.

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