(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
(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.