.11 Alternative Dispute Resolution.

A. In this regulation, "ADR" means alternative dispute resolution, a process of resolving matters pending before the Secretary through one or more of the following:

(1) Settlement conference;

(2) Neutral case evaluation;

(3) Neutral fact finding; or

(4) Other nonadversarial dispute resolution process.

B. Authorized. If all parties agree, the Secretary may schedule an ADR proceeding.

C. Presiding Officer. The individual who presides at the ADR proceeding may not:

(1) Preside at the prehearing conference, the hearing on the merits, or any other stage of the contested case;

(2) Advise the Secretary regarding any decision on the merits of the contested case; or

(3) Be called to testify, participate in discovery, or otherwise provide information in any subsequent stage of the contested case.

D. Confidentiality of Proceedings.

(1) An ADR proceeding is confidential and shall be closed to the public.

(2) Discussions in an ADR proceeding may not be made a part of the record of any stage of the contested case.

(3) An ADR proceeding may not be recorded electronically or in any other manner.