.04 Preliminary Conference.

A. The Office shall hold a preliminary conference, on request of an appellant, before a hearing on an action.

B. The conference is optional and does not replace the hearing process.

C. The conference may be attended by a representative of the Office and the appellant.

D. The conference may lead to an informal resolution of the dispute. However, a hearing shall be held unless one of the parties submits a written withdrawal of the hearing request to the Office of Administrative Hearings.