Duties of the Presiding Officer...The person who presides over a meeting has several specific responsibilities:
- Begin the meeting on time; be certain a quorum is present.
- Announce in proper sequence business to come before a general assembly.
- Recognize members who are entitled to the floor.
- State, put to vote and announce results of votes on questions that legitimately come before the assembly.
- Protect the assembly from obviously frivolous motions by refusing to recognize them.
- Enforce rules of debate, order and decorum within the assembly.
- Expedite business, but respect all rights of members.
- Decide all questions of order, subject to appeal. If in doubt, the presiding officer may submit questions to the assembly for decision.
- Respond to inquiries of members concerning parliamentary procedure or factual information bearing on the business of the assembly.
- When necessary, authenticate by signature minutes, orders, legislation, etc.
- Declare the meeting adjourned when the assembly so votes or at the time prescribed, or if an emergency affects the safety of the assembly.
- Announce the results of an election or vote.
- Turn the chair over to a vice-president or other temporary
occupant during the assembly's consideration of:
- a motion in which the presiding officer wishes to take part in debate (this should be done only on rare occasions).
- A motion referring to the presiding officer in a capacity not shared with others.
- A motion that commends or censures the presiding officer alone or with other members. The presiding officer should remain in chair for a motion to elect officers, delegates or committees, even if he/she is included.
- Vote when her/his vote, in a voice vote, will affect the result (to make or break a tie).