What Is A Point of Information?

Point of Information

A point of information is an incidental meeting motion that any member can raise while a main motion is in progress. It is used to ask for information from the board regarding the business at hand. This is a non-procedural question that can’t be debated and does not require a second. It helps members acquire the information necessary to make informed votes.

It is easy to confuse this motion as a means to offer more information on the topic instead of asking for it. That is why the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order now refers to it as a “request for information” instead.

Examples of points of information

Here are some examples of points of information raised while a motion is in progress:

  • Asking about the property budget before voting on a motion to purchase new land.
  • Enquiring about the marketing strategy before approving the launch of a new product.
  • Requesting information on the timing of related decisions that can affect the business at hand.

Common misuses of a point of information

Here are some ways a point of information is often misused during board meetings:

  • Stating facts

When a director asks for a point of information, they might state facts instead of asking a question. They may consider these to be relevant and important to consider before voting. However, this is not the function of a point of information.

  • Expressing personal opinions

A point of information is not a means for members to express their personal opinions on the matter at hand. A member does not have the privilege to interrupt a speaker only to offer their point of view. If anyone has information to add to the topic, they can ask to be put on the speakers’ list.

  • Asking irrelevant questions

The question asked after a point of information should be relevant to the topic being discussed. Asking any questions unrelated to the matter at hand or about a member’s conduct or character is a misuse of this motion.

  • Enquiring about a member’s proposed course of action

A member cannot use a request for information to ask about another member’s personal feelings or proposed course of action on the matter. That information can lead to bias and weaken the decision-making process.

Procedure to ask for a point of information

The proper board meeting etiquette to ask for a point of information is as follows:

  • A board member raises their hand and states, “I rise to a point of information” or “Point of information, please?”
  • If another member is currently speaking, the chairperson asks if they are willing to be interrupted. If they are not, it is important to respect their decision and wait.
  • The chair then asks the member for their question.
  • The member asks the question by addressing the chair only.
  • Either the chair or the speaker answers the question, or the chair directs the question to a suitable board member to respond.

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