business is the motion* relating to. which was pending when the last meeting adjourned. The question is on the adoption of the motion [stating the motion]. [After this item has been disposed of] The next item of business is.
In a properly conducted meeting, there is no type or class of business called “old business.” It is a common mistake for the chair to call for “old business” and under that incorrect category to allow members to bring tip again matters that were considered at earlier meetings or matters for which there was merely an informal suggestion that they should be brought up at the present meeting. In fact, what properly come up under the correct category, “unfinished business,” are:
1) the item (if any) that was actually in the process of being considered when the last meeting adjourned, followed by
2) any items that were scheduled to come up at the last meeting but were not reached before its adjournment, in the order these were due to come up at that meeting. [RONR (10th ed), p.347. 1.
1 1—22. See also footnote Onp. 53 of this took.]
4. New Business
The chair asks, “Is there any new business?” New items may then be brought up by any
member, using the procedure—making a motion—described in the next chapter. IRONR
(10th ed), p.349.]
D. AGENDA: AN ALTERNATIVE TO FOLLOWING A STANDARD ORDER OF BUSINESS
Instead of following a standard order of business, a group may adopt an agenda. An agenda sets out the order in which specific items are to be considered, and sometimes sets exact times for their consideration. Frequently, the president presents a draft agenda, but to be binding it must be adopted by majority vote of the group at or soon after the start of the session. The group may make any changes it wishes before voting to adopt it
E. ADJOURNMENT, RECESS, AND STANDING AT EASE
When the meeting has completed its work, the chair says, “Is there any further business? Since there is no further business, the meeting is adjourned.” To adjourn means to close the meeting. Even if there is still business that has not been completed a majority may vote to adjourn. *
When the group wishes to take a short break from a meeting, it may vote (by a majority) to recess. The proposal to recess may set a time, as in, “recess for five minutes.” Or it maybe to “recess until called to order by the chair,” which leaves it up to the presiding officer to decide when to end the recess and resume the meeting. [RONR (10th ed.), p.80,l. 18—28; p.222—25.]
The chair may cause a brief pause in the proceedings, if no member objects, by directing the group to stand at ease. This means that members remain in their places, perhaps talking quietly, until the chair again calls the meeting to order, [RONR (10th ed.), p. 80, 1. 29, top. 81,1.2.]