Recent events have pushed organisations from all parts of the housing sector to look again at the reasons for decisions taken; from board minutes concerning governance and strategy to business minutes for financial and operational decisions.
Minutes of the meetings have become central in the investigation into the Grenfell fire and fire safety for hundreds of other buildings across the UK. Without them, it would have been impossible to prove negligence which resulted in the resignation of many council members.
Compliance is one thing, but truthfulness is another. In some countries, Minutes are preferred to be brief and simply highlighting compliance, so as not to have interference from the government and other outside entities. Minutes should serve the purpose of informing and protecting, but whom?
For the UK, a certain amount of best practice guidance is provided by ICSA, an association for those working in governance, risk and compliance. At the ICSA Annual Conference this year, Peter Swabey had something to say about the purpose of minutes:
‘They should be the single source of truth, and should be a complete, self-standing record (together with the papers). They should act as evidence of the meeting and as a record of those matters discussed/noted, concerns raised, decisions made and, where considered helpful, the rationale for those decisions, and demonstrate the directors acting in accordance with their duties under the Companies Act.’
This year, we at Convene thought that it would be relevant to sponsor a talk at the NHF Annual Conference to help Company Secretaries and minute-takers understand what they are doing well and what they can do better.
Joanna Gutmann is a specialist trainer in minute-taking, working across the housing, local government, education and health sectors; she is the author of the Kogan Page book, Taking Minutes of Meetings. In a 45-minute session, she will give an overview of the ten key ‘essentials’ of good minutes and explain their relevance; invaluable information that can be taken back and spread throughout your organisation.
Join us at Seminar Room B at 14:00 on the 19th of September, 2017.