The parties agree to the following terms of usage for Online Dispute Resolution (ODR):
Purpose of ODR:
The purpose of ODR is to reach mutual agreement. It is important that the parties collaborate and cooperate with each other and have an open and honest discussion. ODR is not an adversarial process like a hearing or adjudication.
Confidential and Without Prejudice:
ODR discussions are confidential and without prejudice.
Confidential means the parties may not disclose the discussions or documents to persons not involved in the appeal, and may not use any documents for purposes not related to the appeal. Documents produced in ODR must be kept confidential unless they are required to be used as evidence in adjudication.
Without prejudice means a party is not bound by a position taken in ODR discussions if the appeal is not resolved. A party may not use the other party’s offer to settle in ODR as evidence against them if the appeal is not resolved and proceeds to adjudication.
You will access your appeal in the ODR website. The ODR case will include your name, email address, phone number, the property you are appealing, and any online discussions that you enter and any documents that you attach.
The following people will have access to this information:
- The parties directly involved in your appeal (such as BC Assessment);
- The Board to administer your appeal;
- The Board’s facilitator who may join your online discussions, if required;
- The Board is licensing the ODR software from the Justice Education Society in BC who may require access to maintain the software.
You should be aware that your personal information (as described above) is being collected under Section 26 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act for the purposes of administering your property assessment appeal in the Online Dispute Resolution website.
If you have any questions regarding the collection of personal information, please contact:Registrar
Property Assessment Appeal Board
1270 – 605 Robson Street
Phone: 604 775-1740; Toll free: 1-888-775-1740
In order to allow for productive discussions, the parties should follow these guidelines:
- Early in the discussions, include any documents that are relevant to an appeal issue by attaching them in the ODR platform.
- Respond to the other party’s questions and online discussion in a timely manner (normally within 1 to 2 business days).
- Communicate in a respectful tone and avoid “getting personal”. This will promote a good atmosphere for reaching mutual agreement. Also see the below, nature of online discussions.
- You start with 2-way online discussions between yourself and BC Assessment. As soon as the online discussions stall or you want an independent opinion, request the assistance of a Board facilitator.
- Complete the steps in the timeframe indicated in the below timelines table.
- If the other party does not participate in a timely manner, please email: Steve.Guthrie@paab.bc.ca
|Steps in the ODR online tool||By when|
|Both parties: Board gives you sign on instructions to the ODR website to start online discussions||In April or May|
|BC Assessment: attaches the Property Valuation Summary||In first 3 days|
|Appellant: details concerns with the assessment, and provides any relevant documents||In first 5 days|
|BC Assessment: responds and includes their position on the issues and any relevant documents||In next 5 days|
|Both parties: Further resolution discussions and sharing of documents||In next 5-7 days|
|Both parties: can request the assistance of the Board facilitator||At anytime|
|Board facilitator: will enter into online discussions to assist the parties. If not resolved, will set deadlines for adjudication (usually parties prepare written submissions)||In 2-3 weeks from start|
|Both parties: Complete a feedback survey on ODR||3 days from finishing ODR|
Notes on timelines:
- We will start as soon as possible depending on when the Board receives the appeal.
- You are encouraged to complete these steps as soon as practicable. If one party finishes early, the other party should respond as soon as possible (which might be quicker than indicated in the above timetable).
- If required, either party can request the Board extend these timelines.
- The “Appellant” is the person who filed the appeal (often the property owners).
Nature of online discussions
Parties should detail their position and attach support documents. All discussions between the parties and the Board should occur in the ODR website. To encourage mutual agreement, the parties should strive to have a full and open discussion.
However, the parties are not required to respond (and provide justification) to every objection or complaint raised by the other party. Some issues may not be relevant. For example, our Board does not have jurisdiction to deal with the conduct of the first level of appeal or the conduct of BC Assessment. We are solely concerned with what is an accurate assessment. This is a forum for trying to resolve this appeal. It is not formal adjudication or a hearing.
Likewise, the Board does not require the parties to answer extensive cross examination type questions and justify each and every point they make with evidence. Some clarification for your positions on the appeal issues and support will definitely help resolve the appeal. However, we do not expect the parties will have the time and resources to answer and support each and every detail.
On the other hand, we do encourage you to have an open discussion and not hold back information that you might use later. This will greatly assist in reaching mutual agreement.
The Board facilitator may remove an appeal from ODR and schedule adjudication in certain circumstances, such as:
- It is unlikely you will reach agreement;
- The parties are being disrespectful in the online discussion; or
- The parties are going beyond the purpose of ODR and turning the conversation into cross-examination.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org, if you would like feedback on what is reasonable at this resolution stage.