In the Transforming Public Procurement Green Paper, the Government signalled its desire to increase its control over procurements by all contracting authorities.
All full members are members under Company Law. We have twelve branches. Each branch elects one of their members to be on the board of the national charity. One branch is demanding to see the minutes of all board meetings and say it is their right. Another branch is demanding that we publish to the members the way individual trustees vote whenever the board makes a significant decision.
What are members’ rights to information of this kind?
A Frustrated Trustee
Dear Frustrated Trustee
I am sorry to hear that you are having a challenging time with the members of the charity.
The position with access to information is relatively straightforward:
The minutes of trustees’ meetings must be made available to all the trustees and, where appropriate, to the charity’s auditors and other professional advisers. However, the minutes are not open documents and do not have to be made available to the charity’s members or the wider public, unless the charity’s articles of association say so. If minutes are shared more widely you will need to put in place appropriate arrangements to ensure you do not unlawfully disclose confidential information or personal data. This may involve producing separate confidential minutes for selected sections of board meetings.
Similarly, there is no general obligation to publish the way in which individual trustees have voted at board meetings. Moreover, publishing the voting records of the trustees is likely to undermine the board’s ability to make decisions by consensus and to establish a proper sense of cabinet responsibility. While it is positive for your board to have lively discussion of important issues, once a decision has been properly made the trustees must all abide by that decision. It will be harder to achieve that if the trustees know their voting records will be shared with the charity’s members.
The publication of voting records may also exacerbate a more difficult challenge that you appear to face. You do not say so explicitly but your question suggests that your charity trustees face pressure from the branches that elect them to act as branch representatives, exercising their votes as trustees in the best interests of the branch rather than the charity as a whole. This is a common difficulty for membership charities and you may need to remind both the trustees and the branches of the legal responsibilities of the trustees to act in the interests of the charity, not just the branch by which she was appointed. It may also help to review the role of the branches and the way in which they are constituted.
Trustee, The Cyclists’ Defence Fund
Charity Lawyer, Anthony Collins Solicitors
This article was originally written for Civil Society Governance magazine March 2015
The monthly round-up from the Anthony Collins Solicitors charities team.
Legal updates as the UK enters into stage 4 of the roadmap and legal restrictions on face coverings and social distancing are lifted.
The first disability we are going to discuss is diabetes. We begin by discussing the different types of diabetes; their similarities and differences and how we live with the disability within our day.
Tim Coolican and Freya Cassia explore the legal and practical options available to providers if a disappointing result is received following an inspection.
Following the launch of the CQC’s new strategy for how it regulates health and social care, many providers will be keen to know more about how the changes might affect them in the future.
EPC’s are not required to be served with a Section 21 notice for assured shorthold tenancies if the tenancy predates October 2015.
A new era of paperless property deals is upon us following the Land Registry’s landmark decision in July 2020 to accept e-signed documents for registration.
Under NHSX, the Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and NHS Improvement have published the Secretary of State's vision for how data will be used to improve health and care.
Ofsted recently published the findings from its rapid review of sexual abuse in schools and colleges. The review highlighted keys areas of concern and presents clear actions, which are discussed here.
To receive invitations to our events, as well as information and articles on legal issues and sector developments that are of interest to you, please sign up to Newsroom.