Re: [802SEC] Quorum Rules in IEEE 802
As the EC parliamentarian, I do not believe we have any cause to
question the procedure of 802.18 in Geneva. Our P&P constrains us to
only the review of the document requested by Mike. I will offer my
reasoning and the backup material to fill in the picture. First the
From Robert's Rules, Chapter 11, section 40:
"Manner of Enforcing the Quorum Requirement
Before the presiding officer calls a meeting to order, it is his duty to
determine, although he need not announce, [page 338] that a quorum is
present. If a quorum is not present, the chair waits until there is one,
or until, after a reasonable time, there appears to be no prospect that
a quorum will assemble. If a quorum cannot be obtained, the chair calls
the meeting to order, announces the absence of a quorum, and entertains
a motion to adjourn or one of the other motions allowed, as described
When the chair has called a meeting to order after finding that a quorum
is present, the continued presence of a quorum is presumed unless the
chair or a member notices that a quorum is no longer present. If the
chair notices the absence of a quorum, it is his duty to declare the
fact, at least before taking any vote or stating the question on any new
motion - which he can no longer do except in connection with the
permissible proceedings related to the absence of a quorum, as explained
above. Any member noticing the apparent absence of a quorum can make a
point of order to that effect at any time so long as he does not
interrupt a person who is speaking. Debate on a question already pending
can be allowed to continue at length after a quorum is no longer
present, however, until a member raises the point. Because of the
difficulty likely to be encountered in determining exactly how long the
meeting has been without a quorum in such cases, a point of order
relating to the absence of a quorum is generally not permitted to affect
prior action; but upon clear and convincing proof, such a point of order
can be given effect retrospectively by a ruling of the presiding
officer, subject to appeal (24).*"
Clause 220.127.116.11.1 of the LAMS P&P states:
"18.104.22.168.1 Voting at Meeting
A vote is carried by a 75% approval of those members voting "Approve"
and "Do Not Approve". No quorum is required at meetings held in
conjunction with the Plenary session since the Plenary session time and
place is established well in advance. A quorum is required at other
Working Group meetings. The Working Group Chair may vote at meetings. A
quorum is at least one-half of the Working Group members."
Now some analysis.
As the EC parliamentarian, I have to say that we are in an ambiguous
situation. Whether any WG or TAG is permitted to conduct any business,
at all, outside of 802 plenary sessions, unless a quorum is present, is
questionable under our P&P. Where any vote is taken, 22.214.171.124.1 requires
a quorum to be present at any meeting outside of a one held in
conjunction with a plenary session or 802. There is no exception to
this rule. This clause also defines a quorum.
Robert's Rules clearly specify that it is the responsibility of the
Chair to determine if a quorum is present, before calling a meeting to
order. HOWEVER, we have made Robert's Rules advisory only. The Chair
has full discretion under the LMSC P&P to decide all procedural issues.
Determining the presence of a quorum is clearly procedural. Under our
P&P, if the chair declares a quorum is present and there is no objection
from anyone present, there is a quorum present. Period. The lack of an
objection from anyone present would also seem to preclude an appeal (but
this is not a question for today).
So if Mike declares that a quorum was present at the meeting in Geneva
and there was no objection from anyone at that meeting, we do not have
the right to second guess him under our P&P. He has absolute authority
on procedural matters in his TAG. The members present in Geneva could
also be assumed to be working under the presumption of a quorum, since
Robert's Rules does not require the chair to announce that a quorum is
present. Unless a member called for a quorum determination, business
Finally, my response.
My recommendation is that we defer to Mike, allowing him to inform us as
to the presence of a quorum in Geneva. If a quorum was present, we have
no reason, or ability, to question it. If a quorum was not present,
then 802.18 was unable to take any official action and there is no
document, yet, for us to review.
Lastly, a recommendation.
We should immediately institute a change to the P&P that requires the
adherence to Robert's Rules for the conduct of our meetings and those of
the WGs and TAGs in order to remove these types of issues, for which
Col. Robert spent significantly greater time considering than have we.
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