As stated earlier, an agenda is the list of items to be considered at a meeting. It is also called business or order of business. It comes from the Latin word agendum (singular) which means ‘a thing to be done.’ But agenda (the Latin plural) is used as a singular noun.
It is the route map of the meeting. The specimen notices above already contain a hint of how it is written. The agenda may be a part of the notice or may be attached as an annexure. The convenor/secretary prepares it in consultation with the chairperson and gets his approval.
The items of agenda should cover all that is necessary to be considered at that time. Meetings take time and effort to arrange; hence the agenda has to be well thought out.
The items may be devised from
(a) Previous minutes
(b) Suggestions received
(c) Actions and events since last meeting
(d) Correspondence of the organization
The agenda contains routine items as well as special ones.
Here are some guidelines for listing the items:
- Apologies from absent members (need not be written previously)
- Condolences if any (may or may not be written previously)
- Reading and approval of minutes of the last meet
- Matters arising out of previous meet’s minutes (this need not always be mentioned)
- Urgent and non-controversial items
- Matters requiring closer discussion and debates
- Any new, on-the-spot items with the approval of the chairman
- Date of the next meet.
The last item in a meeting is a vote of thanks to the chairman but this need to be mentioned. The items are mentioned briefly or elaborately according to the practice or need.
The agenda should be manageable within the time at disposal. Some clubs have a time limit for the duration of a meeting (e.g. 90 minutes), which automatically dictates the scope of discussion.
A notice is a written or an oral statement that contains the particulars of holding a meeting. When a circular is served among the members of the meeting to attend the meeting, it is called a notice. It is letter of invitation that carries the request to the members to attend a meeting. A notice includes time, place, date and agenda of a meeting. The notice should be sent by the proper authority in due time so that the members can attend the meeting in time.
Essential Elements or Factors of a Valid Notice
The essentials or elements or factors of a valid nonce are given below:
(i) Signature: The notice must be signed by the proper authority. Only the legal authority should serve the notice.
(ii) Proper time: The notice must be served in proper time. It should be circulated according to the rules and regulations of the company or the organization.
(iii) Time date and place: The time, date and place of the meeting must be stated in the notice.
(iv) Unconditional: There must be no condition or complexity in the notice about attending meeting. Always a notice is unconditional.
(v) Agenda: Agenda means topics to be discussed in a meeting. A valid notice should contain the agenda of the meeting.
(vi) Conciseness: The notice must be short in size. It should be clear, simple and easy.
(vii) Proper persons: Notice should be served to the proper persons who are entitled to attend the meeting.
(viii) Enclosure: An explanatory statement should be sent with the notice.