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CHAPTER 1 : SECRETARY
Secretary is a person who conducts correspondence, maintains records and does ministerial and administrative work. This subject covers the study of the role of secretary. It includes their duties, appointments, basic qualification required, qualities required etc.
Derived from the Latin word ‘Secretarius’ which means a person who is expected to maintain secrets. In Roman empire, secretary was called as ‘Scribae’ which means a person who is expected to maintain secrets or can communicate by way of letters professionally. In Indian ancient history, secretary is called as ‘Amatya’, ‘Sachiva’ or ‘Chitnis’.
Oxford dictionary – A person whose work is to write for others, especially one who is employed to conduct correspondence, keep records and to transact various other businesses for another person or for a society, corporation or a public body.
Webster’s dictionary – One who is entrusted with private or secret matters and a confidential clerk, one who attends to correspondence, records of a private and confidential nature. Companies Act, 1956 – Any individual possessing the prescribed qualification and appointed to perform the duties which may be performed by secretary under this Act and any other ministerial or administrative duties.
Initially, a secretary was required to do only clerical work like letter writing, scheduling appointments etc. However, now a secretary is required to carry out various duties like scheduling appointments, compliance with law, maintaining documentation etc. The change in the concept of secretary is due to following reasons:
1. Financial aspect With the increase in the size of organization, the duty of secretary also increases. Secretaries are required to maintain adequate documents, comply with statutory provisions, maintain good public relations etc. The secretary requires adequate professional, academic and soft skills to carry out the role properly.
2. Organization growth With the increase in the size of organization, the duty of secretary also increases. Secretaries are required to maintain adequate documents, comply with statutory provisions, maintain good public relations etc. The secretary requires adequate professional, academic and soft skills to carry out the role properly.
3. Regulations Government updates the policies, various acts, regulations etc at frequent interval. A company is required to implement properly and diligently. A secretary is responsible for proper compliance of these policies.
4. Enhancing image Good public relations help in retaining as well as adding new clients. Hence, it is necessary to maintain good public relations. This can be done only if there one responsible person working towards maintaining the image. Secretary is one of the good officers who maintain relation through letters, telephone, internet etc.
5. Spreading to foreign markets Due to globalization and liberalization, whole world is converted into one single market. The organizations have started moving to foreign markets. This has resulted in increasing size of organization and thereby role of company secretary has been changed.
6. Technical aspects Post industrial revolution, the use of machinery and time saving techniques has increased to a great extent. A secretary is expected to know the production techniques, machinery etc applicable to the business. Only if he has the knowledge, he will be able to manage everything.
1. Financial aspect 2. Organization growth 3. Regulations 4. Enhancing image 5. Spreading to foreign markets 6. Technical aspects
1. Access to confidential information Secretary has access to confidential information. He is expected to maintain confidentiality.
2. Advisor Secretary is the key advisor to the board and the cornerstone of good corporate governance. The point of view and the opinion of secretary are always considered before implementing any policies and taking decisions.
3. Educational qualification To be appointed as secretary of an organization, he should be a member of ICSI (only if Company’s capital is 5 Crore or more). He must also possess prescribed qualification as per organizations requirement.
4. Individuals Only individuals can be appointed as secretary of the organization. In other words, company or firms or other institutes cannot be appointed as secretary.
5. Implementation Management of company is responsible for taking important strategic decisions. It is the responsibility of the secretary to implement and execute the decisions taken by the management.
6. Qualities Secretary plays an important role in the organization. He has to handle difficult situations, take important decisions, manage people etc. Hence, he needs to possess various qualities like accuracy, intelligence, honesty, leadership, pro-activeness, patience etc.
7. Classification Secretary can be of two types i.e. personal and institutional. Personal secretary is the one who provides his services to single person. Institutional secretary is appointed by and provides services to an organization.
8. Employee Secretary is an employee of the organization. He is usually paid salary as remuneration.
1. Access to confidential information 2. Advisor 3. Educational qualification 4. Individuals 5. Implementation 6. Qualities 7. Classification 8. Employee
Secretary is one of the most important officers of the company. He / She is responsible for documentation, compliances with policies and regulations, handles administrative work, acts as advisor to board etc. Following is the importance of secretary in an organization:
1. Systematic maintenance of records 2. Meetings 3. Administrative work 4. Responsible for legal drafting and correspondence 5. Timely legal compliance 6. Secrecy 7. Expert opinion 8. Communication between board and staff
1. Systematic maintenance of records Secretary has to maintain proper files and records of the organization, which may be required in future for reference.
2. Meetings Secretary is responsible for making arrangements for meetings. He is also required to carry out formalities which are required to be undertaken after the meeting. The responsibility includes sending out notices, agenda, preparing minutes etc. His opinion is valued and given due consideration.
3. Administrative work Top management should have time for thinking about organization’s vision and growth. They should not be busy with daily routine work. Secretary is responsible for routine work. Thus, the top level is free to think of new business areas, expansion plans, framing new policies etc.
4. Responsible for legal drafting and correspondence Secretary is responsible for various communications like sending out notices for meetings, agenda, minutes, letters etc to various stakeholders of organization. He is responsible for communicating within (employees, BoD) as well as outside the organization (customers, government etc). Therefore, secretary has to be precise and accurate in his drafting.
5. Timely legal compliance Secretary has to ensure proper and timely legal compliance in all activities of the organization. He has to maintain books, registers etc as prescribed under various acts. He needs to obtain registrations and file returns.
6. Secrecy Secretary, being integral part of an organization, has access to confidential information. He also attends board meetings wherein all confidential issues are discussed and important decisions are taken. He is expected to maintain confidentiality of all important matters of organization. Secretary is often referred to as ‘confidential officer’.
7. Expert opinion Secretary is an important part of organization. Besides, he is also involved in day to day operations. Hence, the views and opinion of secretary are always welcomed and valued. Secretary helps and takes part in decision making process of organization.
8. Communication between board and staff Board of directors is responsible for taking important decisions. However, these decisions are implemented by the staff of the company. Hence, it is very important that these decisions are communicated effectively. Secretary forms link between board and staff and helps in effective communication. Secretary also takes care that these decisions are successfully implemented. LINKLINK
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