SECTION 10. Compromise and Arbitration.—To expedite administrative proceedings involving conflicting rights or claims and obviate expensive litigations, every agency shall, in the public interest, encourage amicable settlement, compromise and arbitration.
SECTION 11. Notice and Hearing in Contested Cases.—(1) In any contested case all parties shall be entitled to notice and hearing. The notice shall be served at least five (5) days before the date of the hearing and shall state the date, time and place of the hearing.
(2) The parties shall be given opportunity to present evidence and argument on all issues. If not precluded by law, informal disposition may be made of any contested case by stipulation, agreed settlement or default.
(3) The agency shall keep an official record of its proceedings.
SECTION 12. Rules of Evidence.—In a contested case:
(1) The agency may admit and give probative value to evidence commonly accepted by reasonably prudent men in the conduct of their affairs.
(2) Documentary evidence may be received in the form of copies or excerpts, if the original is not readily available. Upon request, the parties shall be given opportunity to compare the copy with the original. If the original is in the official custody of a public officer, a certified copy thereof may be accepted.
(3) Every party shall have the right to cross-examine witnesses presented against him and to submit rebuttal evidence.
(4) The agency may take notice of judicially cognizable facts and of generally cognizable technical or scientific facts within its specialized knowledge. The parties shall be notified and afforded an opportunity to contest the facts so noticed.
SECTION 13. Subpoena.—In any contested case, the agency shall have the power to require the attendance of witnesses or the production of books, papers, documents and other pertinent data, upon request of any party before or during the hearing upon showing of general relevance. Unless otherwise provided by law, the agency may, in case of disobedience, invoke the aid of the Regional Trial Court within whose jurisdiction the contested case being heard falls. The Court may punish contumacy or refusal as contempt.
SECTION 14. Decision.—Every decision rendered by the agency in a contested case shall be in writing and shall state clearly and distinctly the facts and the law on which it is based. The agency shall decide each case within thirty (30) days following its submission. The parties shall be notified of the decision personally or by registered mail addressed to their counsel of record, if any, or to them.
SECTION 15. Finality of Order.—The decision of the agency shall become final and executory fifteen (15) days after the receipt of a copy thereof by the party adversely affected unless within that period an administrative appeal or judicial review, if proper, has been perfected. One motion for reconsideration may be filed, which shall suspend the running of the said period.
SECTION 16. Publication and Compilation of Decisions.—(1) Every agency shall publish and make available for public inspection all decisions or final orders in the adjudication of contested cases.
(2) It shall be the duty of the records officer of the agency or his equivalent functionary to prepare a register or compilation of those decisions or final orders for use by the public.
SECTION 17. Licensing Procedure.—(1) When the grant, renewal, denial or cancellation of a license is required to be preceded by notice and hearing, the provisions concerning contested cases shall apply insofar as practicable.
(2) Except in cases of willful violation of pertinent laws, rules and regulations or when public security, health, or safety require otherwise, no license may be withdrawn, suspended, revoked or annulled without notice and hearing.
SECTION 18. Non-expiration of License.—Where the licensee has made timely and sufficient application for the renewal of a license with reference to any activity of a continuing nature, the existing license shall not expire until the application shall have been finally determined by the agency.