Agency Policy Samples

Several agencies have issued polices addressing ADR use in procurement and contract dispute resolution.

Department of the Air Force (AF) 
The AF favors ADR in procurement when it is important to maintain an ongoing business relationship between the parties. It is also favored when a swift resolution is necessary, and when the parties desire some flexibility in the potential relief. Formal ADR should not be used when negotiations between the parties continue to be moderately productive. See AF Factsheet.

Department of the Navy (DON) 
The DON has taken another approach and distributed ADR policies via Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Instructions. Policy statements that encourage procurement ADR are found in SECNAVINST 5800.13A, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Policy and Mission of the DON ADR Program Office, which established the DON ADR Program Office, and in SECNAVINST 5800.15, Use of Binding Arbitration for Contract Controversies.

Department of the Army (Army)
The Army’s FAR Supplement, Part 5133.204, was substantially revised in 2015 to increase consideration of ADR at the pre-appeal stages of a dispute.

Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA)
The VA’s policy is found  at 48 CFR 833.214, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), and simply provides: “Contracting officers and contractors are encouraged to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR) procedures.” 48 CFR 833.214 (2014).  It directs parties to the CBCA’s guidance.

Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
The FAA Office of Dispute Resolution uses Alternative Dispute Resolution as its primary means of settling contract disputes. Adjudication is only used when the parties are unable to agree on the use of ADR or when one or more issues remains unresolved at the end of ADR proceedings. Unlike at most agencies, ODRA encourages the use of ADR rather than waiting for the parties to initiate proceedings. See Ch. 4, AMS Description; Ch. 11, ODRA Protests; and Ch. 17, ODRA Disputes.

Defense Logistics Agency (DLA)
The DLA’s ADR Program is split into ADR in protests and ADR in contract administration. ADR in protests either have a DLA official or a GAO official as the neutral; if the dispute resolution is taking place at GAO, DLA protest attorneys are encouraged to request “outcome prediction ADR” from GAO once the agency report is filed. In contract administration, the DLA has attempted to include in every contract some times of ADR provision that is optional for the contractor. It further requires the mention of ADR at multiple points throughout the contract administration to ensure all parties are aware that it is available to address any conflicts that may arise.

Civilian Board of Contract Appeals (CBCA)
The CBCA makes its judges available to provide a variety of ADR services in bid protests, pre-appeal and post-appeal disputes. The CBCA’s ADR policy can be found in Board Rule 54, which can be found on the Board’s websiteSee also Ch.16, CBCA.

Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA)
The Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals publishes its policies on its website. See also Ch. 15, ASBCA.