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Confidentiality And Minutes


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Hope someone might be able to help me clear up this matter....

 

We are a committee-led charity pre-school and at our recent AGM I raised the matter of confidentiality and not sharing details of what is discussed at meeting particularly staffing matters.

 

My problem is that the chair says that minutes are 'public property' and can be shared with anyone so nothing in them is confidential.

 

But I can't find anywhere where it says that minutes must be made public - just that if a written request is received to see charity accounts then they must be provided wihtin two months.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

 

Many thanks,

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AGM Minutes are public documents and can be shared. Many Charity Groups display these after a meeting. Whether committee meeting minutes are shared depends upon your constitution.

If minutes are shared and a confidential matter is discussed, then this can be referred to in general terms in the minutes but the actual details are minuted separately and are not available for general circulation. At the end of the meeting the Committee are reminded that confidential issues should not be discussed elsewhere.

 

More information can be found here

http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/public...ns/cc48.aspx#23

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Rea I've edited my post as I realised that I'd got AGM Minutes and meeting minutes muddled up, so checked with the charity commission site. I have to say that I think it is good practice to post minutes up for people to see if they wish to, as long as any confidential matters are not available for scrutiny. For all the obvious reasons. Mind you it needs someone to write brief minutes rather than the reams and reams some people produce. Minute taking is an art in itself isn't it? :o

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Most organisations who need to publish their minutes have 'reserved business' which usually happens at the end of the meeting. This allows sensitive or confidential business to be discussed, and people attending the meeting are asked to leave as appropriate. So in the context of a pre-school committee meeting, this might be where issues such as salaries or families in need are discussed. This part of the meeting would be minuted but not circulated.

 

Whether minutes need to be circulated at might be detailed within the constitution, but as Jacquie says it is a powerful way of disseminating information to those parents who are not on the committee, and helps to ensure that the workings of the committee are transparent and open to scrutiny.

 

Thank goodness as a private owner I didn't have to worry about it! Mind you, these days I keep my shorthand writing skills a bit quiet because if ever I'm on a committee I get lumbered with minute taking! :o

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Which presumably is why no-one will step forward to do the job :o

 

Funnily enough I once turned up at the wrong training session (my fault- I went a week early xD:( ) anyway, I walked into a room full of men in suits (that was the point I realised I was in the wrong place), they were all there for 'minute taking' training.......... I knew I should have stayed!!!!!!

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Hope someone might be able to help me clear up this matter....

 

We are a committee-led charity pre-school and at our recent AGM I raised the matter of confidentiality and not sharing details of what is discussed at meeting particularly staffing matters.

 

My problem is that the chair says that minutes are 'public property' and can be shared with anyone so nothing in them is confidential.

 

But I can't find anywhere where it says that minutes must be made public - just that if a written request is received to see charity accounts then they must be provided wihtin two months.

 

Can anyone point me in the right direction?

 

Many thanks,

 

This is correct they are public....therefore sensitive or confidential material can be mentioned for example "Staff salaries were discussed" but not go into specifics....other areas for example safeguarding issues again cannot be made specific because this might lead to a family being identified etc. So you can put an item onto the minutes such as "Local safeguarding was discussed" but again nothing specific. In the same way it maybe that when some subjects are discussed certain people are excluded from the discussion due to its confidential nature....for example although our supervisor has always traditionally been on the committee representing staff and makes the joining of the circle between staff representation and the committee...when the votes are taken she is absent from the room and the vote. Likewise in a safeguarding situation the chair might be informed but other committee members may not be privy to the information ...similar scenario.

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