What is the role of chair in general meetings?

June 28, 2022

What is the role of chair in general meetings

General meetings are where the organisation’s progress is discussed along with charting its direction for the future, and are led by the chair of the board. The chair is traditionally appointed to the position by other committee members, ensuring that the AGM runs smoothly and efficiently.

The importance of the chair

Aside from facilitating the meeting, the chair also ensures that the meeting runs on time, that all the items on the agenda are properly discussed, resolved or tabled and that the members are acting in accordance with the rules and conventions of the meeting. General meetings cannot proceed without the chair, lest the decisions made during it be rendered null and void. Indeed, failure of the committee to elect a chair may cause it to be deemed not legal.

Duties of the chair

During a general meeting, the chair’s duties include setting the agenda beforehand, directing the members to address each item on the agenda and building a consensus to make a ruling for a motion. Should the chair declare a ruling out of order, they must provide the reason for the decision and give the committee to overturn it.

The chair ensures that all voices are heard equally and the decisions are made fairly, accepts motions and amendments and supervises the actions taken for correct and expedient results.

Read Rules and Guidance for Voting at General Meetings

The chair also declares the results of votes on motions at the meeting as well as the results of an election for a committee position.

Powers of the chair

The chair can convene the annual general meeting and a special general meeting, set the agenda for the meeting and maintain order during the meeting. That said, chairs do not possess decision-making powers by themselves. A chair can only make decisions if it is delegated by the committee or owners corporation. The delegated powers must be included in the minutes and set out in an instrument of delegation.

A chair also supervises the preparation and the confirmation of notices, agenda and minutes.

Chairing the general meeting

The chair of the owners corporation must chair the general meeting, but there may be circumstances where the chair will not be able to perform this duty. If the chair is absent for a general meeting, the members must then elect a representative to act as chair for that meeting. The members can assist the chair in performing the duties, though the final authority and responsibility is still with the chair.

Should the members give permission to proxy the general meeting will also be included in the minutes.

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