Use of Collaborative Dispute Resolution Processes
(1)Unless otherwise precluded by law, the agency may, in its discretion, use a collaborative dispute resolution process in contested cases, rulemaking proceedings, judicial proceedings, and any other decision-making or policy development process or controversy involving the agency. Collaborative dispute resolution may be used to prevent or to minimize the escalation of disputes and to resolve disputes once they have occurred.
(2)Nothing in this rule limits innovation and experimentation with collaborative or alternative forms of dispute resolution, with negotiated rulemaking or with other procedures or dispute resolution practices not otherwise prohibited by law.
(3)The collaborative means of dispute resolution may be facilitated negotiation, mediation, facilitation or any other method designed to encourage the agency and the other participants to work together to develop a mutually agreeable solution. The agency may also consider using neutral fact-finders in an advisory capacity.
(4)The agency shall not agree to any dispute resolution process in which its ultimate settlement or decision making authority is given to a third party, including arbitration or fact-finding, without prior written authorization from the Attorney General.
(5)Nothing in this rule obligates the agency to offer funds to settle any case, to accept a particular settlement or resolution of a dispute, to alter its standards for accepting settlements, to submit to binding arbitration, or to alter any existing delegation of settlement or litigation authority.
Rule 137-005-0010 — Use of Collaborative Dispute Resolution Processes,