Guidelines for Producing, Filing, and Transferring Committee Minutes
Although you may be aware that these are all the same committee, someone else may not be sure. In the above example, the committee records might be difficult to retrieve because of the differences in names.
Be consistent in using the official name for the committee.
- Do write: Education Textbook Planning Committee
Do not write:
- Textbook Planning Committee
- Off-Campus Textbook Planning Committee
- Instructional Materials Planning Committee
- Committee on Educational Textbooks
- Ad hoc committee minutes should show to which standing committee, department, or administrative group they report.
- Always follow the same format. When you are away for vacation, etc., leave a sample copy if your replacement will have to prepare minutes for you.
Use some type of consecutive numbering. The purpose is to help verify the completeness of a set of minutes. This can be done in any or all of the following ways:
- Consecutive page numbers, starting over with page one each year or continuing indefinitely, including the year, for example 2010-01, 2010-02, etc.
- Consecutive actions, including the year (88-01, 88-02, etc.) and perhaps the committee initials (CAR 88-01).
- Consecutively numbered meetings (Fifty-first Meeting of the Center for Adventist Research Committee), although this will not indicate any missing pages.
- File all minutes in a separate drawer or section of drawer. The record copy of minutes should not be filed with correspondence or topical files.
- Do not file minutes of related committees in the same folder. For example, if a committee has several subcommittees, the minutes for each subcommittee should be in a separate, appropriately labeled, manila folder, but they could all be in the same hanging folder with the main committee.
Minutes of different boards and committees should be kept separate from each other. Andrews University, for example, produces the following separate series of minutes:
- Andrews University Board of Trustees
- Academic Affairs Subcommittee of Andrews University Board of Trustees
- Audit Committee of Andrews University Board of Trustees
- Andrews University Executive Committee
- Andrews University President's Committee
- Andrews University Constituency Meeting
- File minutes and accompanying support documents for each meeting chronologically, from the back, with the most recent minutes at the front. Sometimes important support documentation comes attached to the agenda. The agenda can be discarded, but attached support documentation should be filed following the corresponding minutes.
- Related correspondence and other miscellaneous materials may be filed with minutes but should be kept in separate folders. Routine notices of committee meetings, agendas, or insignificant letters accompanying minutes when they are sent can be discarded.
- If you produce minutes for a committee, please file an extra set and send it to the Archives at the end of each year, when you send other annual records, such as correspondence.
- The official set of minutes, containing original signatures, corrections and backup materials, should be transferred to the Archives when you no longer need them for frequent reference, usually after five or six years.
- Minutes not produced by your office may be transferred to the Archives when no longer needed for frequent reference, usually after two or three years.