Jump to content
The Official RONR Q & A Forums

Request for information


Guest Huang Po

Recommended Posts

 Member  "X"   made a request for  information concerning a pending main motion . The motion maker "Y" was asked ( through the Chair ) to provide  some data that" X"  considered  useful to have ,although  that info was  somewhat at distance from the core proposal  . The Chair advised that the request was not proper as it did not deal with the " business at hand " and that  the meeting would move along to further debate on the main motion .   "Y" did not reply  . Member "X"  then raised a point of order and challenged that the   conclusion and response  of the Chair concerning the request for information-  was  in error . The Chair should not have short cut "X" out of the process.  The Chair then responded -  that  the point of order was not well made  as there had been no ruling by the Chair nor breach of the rules  - just an assessment and response   that the request was improper   . "X" then sought to  appeal the decision of the Chair and relied on the fact that RONR for "Request",  p. 294 ,295 does not provide that a request is not appeal-able - whereas RONR  provides that a parliamentary  inquiry is subject to  appeal ( p. 294, 11-12 ). "X" relied on the absence in RONR of no reference that a Request is not appeal-able as context that it is appeal-able .In addition he argued that the response of the Chair on the request was indeed a 'ruling " as it's consequence  was to rule or decide if "X" could possibly have access to the information . It denied any possibility of access.

1)Was the Chair correct  that the response of the Chair to the request was not a " ruling "  and that no breach of rules had occurred  .

2) is the absence in p. 292-293 of RONR of any reference to " not subject to appeal  " of any significance  respecting   Request .

Thank-you .

 

HP

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest Who's Coming to Dinner

Member X incorrectly raised a point of order when he should have appealed. The Chair indeed made a ruling by rejecting the request for information and it was subject to appeal. Therefore, the Chair was correct (though unhelpful) in rejecting the point of order; a good chair would have restated the point as an appeal and asked for a second.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just as a correction to the initial inquiry - it should have read in the 9th line :

".......whereas RONR provides that a parliamentary inquiry is not  subject to appeal ........"

The response of "Guest Who's Is Coming" - comes as a surprise to me as I would never have guessed that the absence  in pages 294-295 of "appeal not permitted " perhaps  means that a Request for Information ( denied )  can be  appealed ????

 

HP  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Let's be clear here.  A Request for Information, in itself, cannot be appealed.  But that's not what the appeal concerns: it concerns the ruling of the chair that a Request for Information was out of order.  So long as there is more than one possible opinion on the ruling, it can be appealed.  Certainly the ruling that a question is irrelevant or dilatory would almost always, then, be subject to appeal.  (A request for information such as "who is the governor of NY" when the question is painting the clubhouse red would be an exception, but so long as the question somehow relates to the pending motion, I think such a ruling is appealable.)  I would think that the appeal would be undebatable.

The comparison to Parliamentary Inquiry is, I think, a distraction and confusion on both sides of the question.  The whole issue there is that the response to a Parliamentary Inquiry is not a ruling, and so can't be appealed.  If, on the other hand, the chair answered a point of parliamentary inquiry by ruling that the parliamentary inquiry itself was out of order, that would be appealable.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

MR. JK 

Although it may mean little - the Chair did not rule the request "out of order" - she responded that as it did not concern the " business at hand " it was not proper . (?) . But perhaps that amounts to the same thing ?

 However ,to follow up on your response - and the referred to  "distraction" concerning comparison to  Parliamentary Inquiry -- do you consider that there might be less distraction if RONR  provided a line respecting "no  appeal"  available  in matters of Request for Information , much the same as it does for parliamentary Inquiry . Or  is it so obvious to all that a denial of a Request for Information is  clearly  not  appealable  - that it  needs no mention whatsoever in RONR  ? 

Thanks 

HP 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Guest Huang Po said:

Although it may mean little - the Chair did not rule the request "out of order" - she responded that as it did not concern the " business at hand " it was not proper . (?) . But perhaps that amounts to the same thing ?

 However ,to follow up on your response - and the referred to  "distraction" concerning comparison to  Parliamentary Inquiry -- do you consider that there might be less distraction if RONR  provided a line respecting "no  appeal"  available  in matters of Request for Information , much the same as it does for parliamentary Inquiry . Or  is it so obvious to all that a denial of a Request for Information is  clearly  not  appealable  - that it  needs no mention whatsoever in RONR  ? 

 

Parsing out the first one may require some context.  If it was an answer to the question, then it can't be appealed since it's not a ruling.  It sounded from your first post, though, that it was a ruling that the question will not be answered.  Only you can say for sure which it was.

As for the second - no, because, as I said, the two questions are not comparable or parallel.  I don't see why you say it's obvious to all that denial (I assume that means ruling out of order) of a RFI is not appealable when two of us just said such a ruling was appealable.

Only rulings may be appealed.  That's your starting point.  Regardless of the underlying motion (with one exception not relevant here), a ruling of the chair may be appealed (except where there is only one possible answer), and there can be no appeal of anything that is not a ruling.  The answer to a RFI is not a ruling of the chair, it's information or opinion.  The answer to a point of parliamentary inquiry is not a ruling of the chair, it's an opinion.  Neither can be appealed.  For the chair to say, though, that the RFI will not be entertained because it is off-topic and dilatory, is a ruling - you can tell because, unlike the others, it impacts the business that goes on and what other people can say and do.  Such a ruling may be appealed, usually.  

If, on the other hand, the question is answered, and you don't like the answer, you can't appeal that, because it isn't a ruling.  "What shade of red?" "Fuscia." You can't appeal that, even if fuscia isn't a shade of red.

So the question you need to determine, for your situation, is whether the chair was answering the RFI, or making a ruling.  

13 hours ago, Guest Huang Po said:

The Chair advised that the request was not proper as it did not deal with the " business at hand " and that  the meeting would move along to further debate on the main motion . 

This sure sounds like a ruling.  It told X and Y what to do, and had an impact on the way business was to be handled.  "Not proper" sounds a lot like "out of order."  

13 hours ago, Guest Huang Po said:

The Chair then responded -  that  the point of order was not well made  as there had been no ruling by the Chair nor breach of the rules  - just an assessment and response   that the request was improper   .

Without being there, I have no idea what the chair meant by this.  If I make a motion, and the chair rules it out of order, can the chair then say "there was no ruling; just an assessment and response that the motion was improper?"  (Sure, you can say anything, but will it be true?)  Of course not.  The chair has not allowed me to use a motion otherwise available to me, that's a ruling.  So, too, not allowing the use of the RFI is a ruling that it would be improper or out of order at the moment.  Y should have, as was said earlier, appealed rather than raising a point of order, since a ruling had already been made, but the later appeal clearly refers back to the original ruling anyway.

 

13 hours ago, Guest Huang Po said:

In addition he argued that the response of the Chair on the request was indeed a 'ruling " as it's consequence  was to rule or decide if "X" could possibly have access to the information . It denied any possibility of access.

This seems like the right argument, not the one about parliamentary inquiries.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 11/4/2017 at 1:52 AM, Guest Huang Po said:

However ,to follow up on your response - and the referred to  "distraction" concerning comparison to  Parliamentary Inquiry -- do you consider that there might be less distraction if RONR  provided a line respecting "no  appeal"  available  in matters of Request for Information , much the same as it does for parliamentary Inquiry . Or  is it so obvious to all that a denial of a Request for Information is  clearly  not  appealable  - that it  needs no mention whatsoever in RONR  ? 

The reason RONR specifically mentions this for Parliamentary Inquiry is that the chair’s response to the question involves parliamentary procedure, and so a member may mistakenly believe that the chair’s response may be appealed from. Suppose that a member asks if a certain motion is in order at the time. The chair says that it is not. At this point, the chair is merely giving advice. If the member believes the chair is wrong, he cannot appeal from the chair’s response to the inquiry. Instead, he would make the motion, notwithstanding the chair’s advice. Then, when the chair rules the motion out of order, the member would appeal from that ruling.

A Request for Information does not involve parliamentary procedure. Since Point of Order and Appeal always deal with parliamentary procedure, the authors did not feel it was necessary to clarify that an appeal could not be raised from a response to a Request for Information.

As previously noted, a ruling regarding whether a Parliamentary Inquiry or a Request for Information is in order (or whether it is proper, which amounts to the same thing), is subject to appeal. I think there are two ways to handle the chair’s wordplay. As previously noted, the member could say the chair’s response is a ruling, regardless of what he calls it. Alternately, if the chair insists that he is not making a ruling, then his response can be disregarded. So the member might appeal or he might say “Okay, but I respectfully disagree with the chair’s opinion, so I’m going to ask my question now unless you make a ruling.” Either the chair is making a ruling, and it is subject to appeal, or he isn’t making a ruling, and the member doesn’t have to listen to him. The chair can’t have it both ways.

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much appreciated  JM . I gather you would agree that if a request for information on a pending matter clearly does not concern the business at hand - the Chair is correct to deny the request and move on. And an appeal from that could also be denied as the appeal would be dilatory .Do confirm if so.

Thanks 

HP

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Guest Huang Po said:

Much appreciated  JM . I gather you would agree that if a request for information on a pending matter clearly does not concern the business at hand - the Chair is correct to deny the request and move on. And an appeal from that could also be denied as the appeal would be dilatory .Do confirm if so.

Yes, if a Request for Information clearly does not concern the matter at hand, the chair could rule the Request for Information out of order on that grounds, and could rule the appeal out of order as dilatory on the grounds that there cannot be two reasonable opinions on the matter. If the assembly still disagrees, there are other methods of addressing the situation. This is still quite different from the chair essentially making a ruling without making a ruling, and thereby attempting to insulate his decisions from appeal.

It is probably worth noting that an Appeal which arises in connection with an undebatable motion, such as a Request for Information, is undebatable, so processing the Appeal actually doesn’t take that much time. 

Edited by Josh Martin
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...