California State Association of Parliamentarians
Survival Tips on
Robert's Rules of Order
Unfinished Business, Yes;
Old Business, Never!
Before the current agenda is put together, the secretary advises the chair of the matters which were not disposed of from the previous meeting. Also, the parliamentarian advises the chair which issues can be carried forward as "Unfinished Business". Therefore, the chair should never ask the members, "Is there any Unfinished Business." That question can be answered only by the secretary and the parliamentarian.
There are really only a few reasons why a matter may be considered in the "Unfinished Business and General Orders" portion of the current meeting's agenda.
So, if you understand what can be considered under "Unfinished Business", you can protect your favorite issue from being ignored. On the other hand, you could manipulate the time of adjournment to defeat the opponent's favorite issue.
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