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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 80. General Procedures and Information for Licensure
3/29/2020

22VAC40-80-420. Informal Conference.

A. Section 2.2-4019 of the Code of Virginia provides the aggrieved party the right to request an informal conference. In the case of administrative sanctions that include a provision for an administrative hearing, the named party and the agency may consent to waive such a conference to go directly to the hearing.

B. The informal conference is a fact-finding process. The purpose of an informal conference is to give the aggrieved party an opportunity to present information or evidence he believes indicates that the intended sanction was based on factual error or on misinterpretation of facts, or to determine if the dispute may be resolved by consent. The department will decide if the conference will be open to the public.

C. If the aggrieved party presents exhibits or other documents that contain facts previously unknown to the conference chair, the conference chair may determine that the new information requires verification. Upon making such a determination, the conference chair shall notify the aggrieved party that the information needs to be verified. The report on the informal conference shall be held open for 14 days to allow for the verification of the exhibits or other documents. The conference chair has the option to require the aggrieved party to provide such verification.

D. If the aggrieved party believes the matter can be resolved by consent, a written proposal must be submitted to the department-appointed chair of the conference no later than five work days prior to the conference unless different arrangements are agreed upon with the chair. In no case may a proposed consent agreement be submitted later than the day of the conference.

E. Following the informal conference, the chair will prepare a written report and recommended decision to the department that will include statutory authority or legal basis for the remaining steps in the administrative appeals process; a summary of the conference; the previous disposition as set out in the notice of adverse action, i.e., those issues on appeal; the findings of fact; the description of evidence; and the recommended decision or options. Within 90 days from the date of the informal conference, or from a later date agreed to by the aggrieved party and the agency, the department will issue its official decision in writing to the aggrieved party, including information concerning the named party's right to continue his appeal. The written report prepared by the chair will be attached to the letter and will be incorporated by reference.

F. When an informal conference is conducted following notification of an intent to issue a special order, the issuance of the special order shall be considered a case decision as defined in § 2.2-4001 of the Code of Virginia. Service of the decision following the informal conference shall be achieved by mailing the decision to the licensee, unless service is made by other means and acknowledged in writing by the licensee. If the licensee wishes to appeal the decision, he shall have 30 days after service of the notice to make such a request. If service is accomplished by mail, three days shall be added to the 30-day period. Any appeal following an informal conference related to special orders shall be made to the circuit court. All other appeals shall follow procedures set forth in the Administrative Process Act.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217, 63.2-1732, 63.2-1733 and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 20, Issue 24, eff. November 1, 2004.

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