What is a Memorandum of Understanding?
Traditionally a memorandum would have been a short, semi-formal document utilized to transmit messages in the organisation. Memoranda were employed to document agreements (understandings) between internal departments, work units and folks and thus the memorandum that documented these “understandings” became a “Memorandum of Understanding” or MOU. Eventually usage widened to also encompass organisations and folks outside the originating organisation. Today MOUs are generally formatted as letters, memos and also other documents.
Irrespective of how they’re formatted, MOUs should detail the agreement between individuals or organisations (or perhaps countries) succinctly as well as in unambiguous terms. Each partner on the agreement would need to sign indicating agreement.
Why are MOUs Important?
Here’s one particualr situation when an MOU might have saved your day. An infection control conference have been organised also it ran for three days. A conference organiser was hired using a friend of mine who had previously been primarily in charge of organising the conference, but no written agreement between two existed. The second day to the conference there would be a dispute between my pal and the conference organiser about whose responsibility it turned out to collect payment from conference attendees who desired to visit local attractions; my buddy said the conference organiser had verbally accepted do it; the conference organiser stated it was my buddy’s responsibility and had made no such agreement.
Eventually, one of many members in the organising committee collected and banked the funds and coordinated visits to tourist spots about town.
This was a special event on which an MOU could have prevented a dispute. By referring on the MOU, both parties might have known what exactly was, or hasn’t been their responsibility.
How to create an MOU
Usually a synopsis at the beginning in the MOU to line the scene is necessary and then just use two other paragraphs titled something similar to “What We Will Do” and “What You Will Do”. Like this:
“I reference our discussions wherein you consented to provide team building events training to staff on the Nhulunbuy office in the agency. Our respective responsibilities are detailed below:
What We Will Do
The agency provides:
a conference room with white board, overhead projector and seating for 20 people
mixed sandwiches, tea, coffee and veggie juice refreshments for lunch for attendees and instructors
a payment of $12,345.00 including services and goods tax for your requirements by electronic transfer within 14 days from the program closure
instructional materials approximately 100 pages for every single attendee
What you may Do
We will supply:
team building events training depending on our course outline, to 20 people on the Nhulunbuy office from the agency with an all inclusive expense of $12,345.00 including GST
submit our tax invoice within 2 days of course delivery
a work book titled, “Effective Team Building” to each and every student with an additional copy with the agency library
Please check out this MOU in case you agree on the responsibilities shown due to this agency and yours, please sign it and return the original to your agency.”
A genuine MOU could have had more pieces of both lists, but this provides you the general idea. Everything each signatory for the agreement is going to do is specified, usually in bulleted form.
Accessing the Terms
Once you could have your MOU available, signed by both (or all) parties, you can consider it whenever necessary either to refresh your memory about your obligations or even help resolve a dispute. If it’s in monochrome and you decided to it, then it is difficult to argue the contrary.
Obviously if you have a lot of money involved, or perhaps a project is complex, it’s appropriate to have a legal practitioner draft up a proper contract. For those activities however, whenever a contract is not required, an MOU might help reduce the chances of disputes or misunderstandings.