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RULE §575.60Alternative Dispute Resolution

(a) The board's policy is to encourage the resolution and early settlement of internal and external disputes, including contested cases, through voluntary settlement processes, which may include any procedure or combination of procedures described by Chapter 154, Civil Practice and Remedies Code. Any ADR procedure used to resolve disputes before the board shall comply with the requirements of Chapter 2009, Government Code, and any model guidelines for the use of ADR issued by the State Office of Administrative Hearings.

(b) The board's general counsel or their designee shall be the board's dispute resolution coordinator (DRC). The DRC shall perform the following functions, as required:

  (1) coordinate the implementation of the policy set out in subsection (a) of this section;

  (2) serve as a resource for any staff training or education needed to implement the ADR procedures; and

  (3) collect data to evaluate the effectiveness of ADR procedures implemented by the board.

(c) The board, a committee of the board, a respondent in a disciplinary matter pending before the board, the executive director, or a board employee engaged in a dispute with the executive director or another employee, may request that the contested matter be submitted to ADR. The request must be in writing, be addressed to the DRC, and state the issues to be determined. The person requesting ADR and the DRC will determine which method of ADR is most appropriate. If the person requesting ADR is the respondent in a disciplinary proceeding, the executive director shall determine if the board will participate in ADR or proceed with the board's normal disciplinary processes.

(d) Any costs associated with retaining an impartial third party mediator, moderator, facilitator, or arbitrator, shall be borne by the party requesting ADR.

(e) Agreements of the parties to ADR must be in writing and are enforceable in the same manner as any other written contract. Confidentiality of records and communications related to the subject matter of an ADR proceeding shall be governed by §154.073 of the Civil Practice and Remedies Code.

(f) If the ADR process does not result in an agreement, the matter shall be referred to the board for other appropriate disposition.

(g) ADR for breach of contract claims. Resolution of breach of contract claims brought by a contractor against the Board shall conform to the requirements of Government Code, Chapter 2260. The Board adopts by reference the Office of the Attorney General's model rules regarding the negotiation and mediation of certain contract disputes (1 Texas Administrative Code Part 3, Chapter 68). The requirements of Government Code, Chapter 2260, and the Office of the Attorney General's model rules are required prerequisites to a contractor filing suit in accordance with Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Chapter 107.

Source Note: The provisions of this §575.60 adopted to be effective July 13, 2008, 33 TexReg 5528; amended to be effective May 4, 2015, 40 TexReg 2421

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