Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
It is Army policy to encourage the voluntary use of alternative dispute resolution processes, such as mediation and facilitation, to resolve administrative disputes as early as possible, by the fastest and least expensive methods available, and at the lowest possible organizational level. All disputes should be considered for ADR. While ADR is not appropriate for every dispute, it is often the best choice, especially when it is necessary or desired to preserve the relationship between the parties, whether that relationship involves employment or contractual obligations.
The current ADR policy, promulgated by a SECARMY memorandum on 22 June 2007, gives the Office of the Army General Counsel the overall responsibility for ADR policy, guidance, and training. The program’s two major focus areas are in workplace disputes
dealing with civilian employees and labor-management relations, and acquisition disputes, such as contract claims and appeals.
The Army ADR Program is administered by the ADR Practice Group in OGC. It is staffed by an attorney director, an attorney director of ADR for workplace disputes and training, and an attorney director of ADR for acquisition disputes. Although workplace and acquisition disputes are the program’s primary focus, Army ADR policy applies to other disputes as well, including environmental conflicts and claims.
The ADR Practice Group provides advice and guidance regarding the uses of ADR, collects and reports ADR data for the Army, helps disputing parties obtained appropriate third-party neutral support, and conducts training in mediation and negotiation skills and other conflict management and prevention processes upon request.
2015 Negotiation and ADR Course a great success! The Army and Air Force ADR Programs co-hosted the 2015
Negotiation and Appropriate Dispute Resolution Course (NADRC) to an audience of 60 Air Force, Army,
and DLA attorneys at the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s School, Maxwell Air Force Base,
Alabama during the week of April 27. Students were exposed to expert presentations and
seminars on negotiation and conflict resolution and actively participated in negotiation and m
ediation exercises in a variety of scenarios: workplace, acquisition, environmental and
international relations. From the tenor of day-to-day and end of course evaluations,
students were highly energized by the course and found the entire week to be highly
valuable and relevant to their duties. Next year’s NADRC is TBA.
Part 5133 of the Army Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (AFARS) has been
revised to include Army ADR policy in contract disputes. This policy, stated in
new subpart 5133.204, expressly implements current FAR and general Army ADR policy on
the voluntary use of informal dispute resolution techniques to resolve claims and
potential claims, to the maximum extent practicable and appropriate. The complete
provision can be found here.
POC: Army ADR Program Office
- The 2015 Army Mediation Handbook is available for download here.