ADR Offers Don’t Show Weakness
Sometimes a party is reluctant to suggest using ADR due to concerns that such an offer will signal lack of resolve or weakness. This barrier is easily overcome.
First, for all parties, a sincere offer of ADR demonstrates good faith under the contract or solicitation process. Second, an offer of ADR that stresses avoidance of litigation costs is reasonable for any party to make. Good faith contracting and cost avoidance show business sense, not weakness.
Finally, for contracting officers and other government employees, the barrier is wholly artificial. Why? Because others have already decided that the policy of the United States Government is to “use ADR procedures to the maximum extent practicable.” FAR 33.204; see also 49 USC 40110(d)(1)(B) (applicable to FAA contracts under the AMS). Offering ADR merely demonstrates that acquisition personnel understand the applicable policy. It does not show weakness.