I have come across the following sentence but it doesn't quite sound right.
Absent additional configuration, permits will be distributed at a fixed rate.
Is the first part of the sentence correct?
If not, then what is a good way of phrasing it?
The word absent here functions as a preposition. This is not very common in British English but it appears to be a lot more common in American English.
absent | formal, North American
without: employees could not be fired absent other evidence.