The ADRA of 1996 defines a neutral as “an individual who, with respect to an issue in controversy, functions specifically to aid the parties in resolving the controversy.” 5 USC 571(9). More specifically, the ADRA of 1996 states,
(a) A neutral neutral may be a permanent or temporary officer or employee of the Federal Government or any other individual who is acceptable to the parties to a dispute resolution proceeding. A neutral shall have no official, financial, or personal conflict of interest with respect to the issues in controversy, unless such interest is fully disclosed in writing to all parties and all parties agree that the neutral may serve. 5 USC 573(a).
(b) A neutral who serves as a mediator, facilitator or conciliator serves at the will of the parties.
5 USC 573. These basic rules regarding neutrals are applicable to federal procurement disputes through the FAR 33.201.