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"This could be made a ‘standing item’ on the agenda so that it had to be considered before each time that assessments were considered." Source

My question is would it be wrong to write the sentence without backshifting it, like this: "This could be made a standing item on the agenda so that it has to be considered before each time that assessments are considered."

Because if I had to write the same sentence I'd write it with present tense. Would I be wrong in doing that? And/Or Would it seem informal?

Like here, I see this structure especially in the context of giving advice to the clients.

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    Yes the present tense use serves the purpose at least as well. I am not sure why we are able to backshift in this way, with could and should. I shall be interested to hear what the grammarians say. – WS2 Oct 16 '14 at 17:58
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    As I read the source, I would have probably used the conditional here. For example, "This could be made a standing item on the agenda so that it would have to be considered before each time that assessments were considered." – Nick2253 Oct 16 '14 at 18:53
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To answer the question in your explanation, yes, it's perfectly valid to use the present tense in that scenario. "Could," while originally a past-tense conjugation, has generalized to include all kinds of other uses, so it's not like you'd be jumping between tenses here.

To answer the question in your title, no—at least not in the example given, in my opinion. The example sounds wrong. I can't think of a justification for interpreting the original quote as present tense. "Had" and "were" are quite clearly past-tense conjugations (unless they're being used as the subjunctive, but I don't think that'd hold either), which means "could" is either a straight-up past-tense conjugation or a modal, and neither of those require the present.

You could use the present, or you could use the conditional, as @Nick2253 suggested (and neither would be informal), but I really don't think the past is appropriate here.

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