|(a) Alternative Resolution of Appeal. If legal or enforcement
staff determines an enforcement action that has been appealed may
be resolved without a hearing, legal or enforcement staff may pursue
settlement through negotiation, mediation, agreed order, consent order,
informal settlement conference, alternative dispute resolution, or
other appropriate means.
(b) Informal Settlement Conferences. The Department
may conduct an informal settlement conference in order to resolve
an enforcement action that has been appealed. An individual or entity
subject to an enforcement action may request an informal settlement
conference. An informal settlement conference does not create any
new rights or obligations. Informal settlement conferences:
(1) are conducted at the discretion of legal or enforcement
(2) may not be used as a delay tactic; and
(3) may be primarily conducted remotely, including
solely over the phone or videoconference, or by email.
(c) Mediation. As applicable under Finance Code §13.017,
the Department may, at the discretion of the Commissioner or his or
her designee, arrange for the services of a qualified mediator or
subject matter expert to assist in resolving complaints or other matters.
(d) Hearings. Hearings may be conducted in accordance
with Chapter 9 of this title (relating to Rules of Procedure for Contested
Case Hearings, Appeals, and Rulemakings), with Texas Government Code
Chapter 2001, and may be conducted by the State Office of Administrative