Convention Parliamentarian and Consultant

What is a Convention Parliamentarian and Consultant?

A convention consultant may completely script the business meeting ahead of time and provide basic parliamentary procedure training to the presiding officer, delegates, and members if needed, as well as serve as a consultant during the business meeting, if desired.

Refer to Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised (RONR), 11th edition, pp. 608-609:
"Services of a Parliamentarian A key consultant in the preparation for a convention should be the parliamentarian, who should be engaged well in advance. It is desirable that this person be a professional—the more seasoned in actual operating experience within organizations, the better. Although he has the duty of giving parliamentary advice and opinions (see pp. 465–67) at convention meetings (where he should be seated next to the presiding officer), the parliamentarian’s most important work may well be performed before the convention opens. During the period of preparation and while the convention is in progress, he should serve as the principal adviser to the president, the officers, and the committee chairmen regarding management of the convention as it relates to the actual transaction of business. The chairmen of the Credentials Committee, the Committee on Standing Rules, the Program Committee, the Resolutions Committee, the Elections Committee if there is one, and the standing committees who are to present business to the convention should all consult with the parliamentarian during this time; and it may be advisable that he should attend certain meetings of these committees. The parliamentarian should always be present at the preconvention board meetings mentioned above."

RONR p. 618:
"The standing rules of successive conventions held by a society often become developed to a point where little change in the rules adopted by the preceding convention is necessary. On the other hand, the work of this committee may sometimes require extensive research into past proceedings of the organization. In any case, the parliamentarian should always be consulted regarding the convention’s standing rules, and he often prepares a first draft for submission to this committee."

RONR p. 625:
"The Program Committee usually begins work soon after the preceding convention closes, and its duties continue throughout the convention that it plans—so that it functions as virtually a standing committee of the organization. The Program Committee should work in close contact with the president and the parliamentarian."

RONR pp. 637-638:
"Ordinarily the Resolutions Committee should make known, through the program or announcements, the times and places it will meet. It is best to allow any sponsor of a resolution to appear before the committee to explain it and answer any questions about it; and interested delegates also may be allowed to attend and even participate in discussion. Many times such free discussion reduces friction that may have developed concerning a resolution, and the convention as a result goes more smoothly. After any open “hearings” of this type, the committee meets in executive session to review each resolution and prepare its report. The parliamentarian may be asked to attend the committee’s meetings."


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