Since 1990, Congress and the Executive branch have encouraged the use of ADR in appropriate circumstances. The following statutes and regulations delineate the authority and requirements related to the Department's use of ADR:

  • Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996
  • Negotiated Rulemaking Act, PL 101-648
  • Contract Disputes Act and Federal Acquisition Regulation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998
  • EEOC regulations, 29 CFR 1614
  • EEOC Management Directive 110
  • EEOC Management Directive 715
  • CADR Office DM Chapter. 112 DM 21

Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 (originally enacted in 1990)

Directs each Federal agency to –

  • adopt a policy that addresses the use of alternative means of dispute resolution;
  • examine the use of ADR with respect to formal and informal adjudications, rulemakings, enforcement actions, issuing and revoking licenses or permits, contract administration, litigation brought against the agency, and other agency actions;
  • designate a senior official to be the agency's dispute resolution specialist responsible for implementation of the provisions of the Act and the agency's policy;
  • provide training on a regular basis for the dispute resolution specialist and other employees involved in carrying out the agency's ADR policy; and
  • review each standard agreement for contracts, grants and other assistance to determine whether to amend such standard agreements to authorize and encourage the use of alternative means of dispute resolution.

EEOC 29 C.F.R. 1614

Requires each Federal agency to –

  • establish or make available an ADR program during both the pre-complaint and the formal complaint process
  • fully inform the aggrieved person of their right to choose between participation in an ADR program and the traditional EEO procedures
  • extend the counseling period where ADR is used

Negotiated Rulemaking Act, PL 101-648

Authorizes and encourages each Federal agency to –

  • use negotiated rulemaking processes or other innovative rulemaking procedures

    that allow parties that will be significantly affected by a rule to participate in the development of the rule

Contract Disputes Act & Federal Acquisition Regulation

Authorizes each Federal agency to –

  • encourage the use of ADR techniques to the maximum extent practicable and by voluntary election of both parties
  • recognize contracting officers authority to use ADR any time they have authority to resolve the issue in controversy

Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998

Requires Federal District Courts to –

  • adopt a local rule authorizing the use of ADR processes in all civil actions
  • devise and implement an ADR program to encourage and promote the use of ADR
  • designate a person responsible for implementing, administering, overseeing and evaluating the court's ADR program


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