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Barry McVay's FEDERAL CONTRACTS DISPATCH

DATE: November 15, 2000

FROM: Barry McVay, CPCM

SUBJECT: Department of Transportation; Statement of Policy on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

SOURCE: Federal Register, November 15, 2000, Vol. 65, No. 221, page 69121

AGENCIES: Department of Transportation (DOT)

ACTION: Notice

SYNOPSIS: The DOT is publishing an interim statement of policy on ADR to prevent, minimize escalation of, and resolve disputes among employees and with external parties, at the earliest stage possible, in a cost-effective manner. This interim statement of policy is intended to provide information about ADR, introduce new ADR initiatives, and promote the use of ADR.

DATES: Comments must be receiver by January 16, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Send comments (in duplicate) to the Dockets Management System, U.S. Department of Transportation, PL 401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, DC 20590-0001. Comments may also be submitted to the docket electronically by logging onto the Dockets Management System website at http://dms.dot.gov, and click on "Help & Information" to obtain instructions for filing the comment electronically. All comments should refer to Docket Number OST-2000-7800.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Judith S. Kaleta, Senior Counsel for Dispute Resolution and Dispute Resolution Specialist, 202-493-0992.

SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION: ADR emphasizes creative problem-solving and encompasses a variety of processes aimed at fostering consensual and collaborative solutions, such as mediation, facilitation, conciliation, factfinding, mini-trials, negotiation, negotiated rulemaking, neutral evaluation, policy dialogues, use of ombudsmen, arbitration, and other processes that usually involve a neutral third party.

The interim statement of policy commits DOT to consider ADR in a variety of areas such as resolution of workplace issues, formal and informal adjudication, rulemaking, enforcement, issuance and revocation of licenses and permits, contract and grant administration, and litigation brought by or against DOT. The interim statement of policy encourages persons who interact with DOT to identify opportunities for collaborative and consensual approaches to dispute resolution or rulemaking.

The interim statement of policy is published with a glossary of ADR terms in Appendix I and information about how DOT used ADR in various administrative and programmatic areas in Appendix II. In Appendix II, under "Contract and Procurement," DOT states it is reviewing the Transportation Acquisition Regulation (TAR) and Transportation Acquisition Manual (TAM) "and may incorporate an 'ADR first' approach for agency protests, GAO [General Accounting Office] protests, and appeals from contracting officers' final decisions." It mentions that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) established procedures for the Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) which emphasize the use of ADR for the conduct of protests and contract disputes under the FAA Acquisition Management System (AMS), and that FAA has established a web site at http://www.faa.gov/agc/ which includes a guide to the conduct of protests and contract disputes and information about specific cases.

Also, DOT has established a web site at http://www.dot.gov/adr which provides links to a variety of other ADR sites, including the Federal Procurement ADR Electronic Guide and the Office of Personnel Management ADR Resource Guide. The site will be regularly updated to provide information about DOT's ADR efforts.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Barry McVay at 703-451-5953 or by e-mail to BarryMcVay@FedGovContracts.com.

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