Key Elements to Implementing a Successful ADR Program

  1. Review the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 and the Presidential Memorandum of May 1, 1998, for legislative and executive guidance.
  2. Learn as much as possible about existing federal ADR program structures to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort in creating your agency’s program.
  3. Visit the Working Group’s ADR website at to obtain useful ADR documents, get recent updates on federal ADR developments, and participate in newsgroup discussions with ADR experts in other federal offices.
  4. Ensure that your agency makes a long-term commitment by senior leadership to the establishment of an ADR program, pursuant to the Presidential Memorandum.
  5. If your agency does not yet have a policy statement on the use of ADR, encourage your agency leadership to adopt the ADR Declaration of Policy prepared by the Working Group which is provided on the Working Group’s website.
  6. Secure the financial resoucres, dedicated staffing, and expertise necessary to establish and operate a federal ADR program. This includes a support structure to match agency ADR needs with appropriate agency or private-sector ADR resources.
  7. If your agency has not yet done so, appoint a Dispute Resolution Specialist as required by the 1996 Act, so that there will be a clear point of contact for those wishing to use the agency’s ADR program.
  8. Ensure that appropriate agency personnel receive ADR education and skills training which can encompass both the theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, and related ADR techniques for both program managers and the agency’s counsel.
  9. Review the agency’s standard agreements, contracts, grants, and other documents to determine whether to amend such standard agreements to authorize and encourage the use of ADR if disuptes arise.
  10. Create a system to track ADR use and “lessons learned” to ensure continued progress toward the goals identified in establishing the ADR program.