At any time during the proceeding a reasonable opportunity may be afforded to permit negotiation by
the parties of an agreement containing consent findings and a rule or order disposing of the whole or any part of the proceeding. The allowance of
such opportunity and the duration thereof shall be in the discretion of the administrative law judge, after consideration of the requirements of
section 18 of the Act, the nature of the proceeding, the requirements of the public interest, the representations of the parties, and the probability
of an agreement which will result in a just disposition of the issues.
Any agreement containing consent findings and a rule or order disposing of a proceeding shall also
That the rule or order shall have the same force and effect as if made after a full
a waiver of any further procedural steps before the administrative law judge and the Secretary;
a waiver of any right to challenge or contest the validity of the findings and of the rule or
order made in accordance with the agreement.
On or before the expiration of the time granted for negotiations, the parties or their counsel
Submit the proposed agreement to the administrative law judge for his consideration; or
inform the administrative law judge that agreement cannot be reached.
In the event an agreement containing consent findings and a rule or order is submitted within the
time allowed therefor, the administrative law judge may accept such agreement by issuing his decision based upon the agreed findings. Such decision
shall be published in the FEDERAL REGISTER.