Summary: S.971 — 101st Congress (1989-1990)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Indefinitely postponed in Senate (10/25/1990)

Administrative Dispute Resolution Act - Requires each Federal agency to adopt policies that address the use of alternative means of dispute resolution and case management.

Directs the head of each agency to designate a senior official to be the dispute resolution specialist to implement the provisions of this Act and agency policy. Requires each agency to provide training for the dispute resolution specialist and other employees involved in implementing agency policies. Declares that such training should encompass theory and practice of negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or related techniques.

Requires each agency to determine whether to amend each standard contract, grant, and other assistance agreements to authorize and encourage use of alternative means of dispute resolution.

Requires the Federal Acquisition Regulation to be amended, as necessary, to carry out this Act.

Authorizes the use of alternative means of dispute resolution in administrative hearings.

Declares that each agency may use a dispute resolution proceeding if the parties agree to such proceeding. Sets forth the circumstances under which an agency shall not consider using a dispute resolution proceeding.

Authorizes the use of a neutral in such proceedings to serve as a conciliator, facilitator, or mediator at the will of the parties.

Requires the Administrative Conference of the United States to establish standards for neutrals, maintain a roster of individuals who can act as neutrals, contract to obtain their services in dispute resolution proceedings, and develop procedures to obtain their services on an expedited basis.

Authorizes an agency to use the services of employees of other agencies as neutrals.

Sets forth confidentiality provisions for dispute resolution proceedings.

Authorizes the use of Federal arbitration as an alternative means of dispute resolution, if all concerned parties consent, either before or after an issue in controversy has arisen. Sets forth provisions with respect to the authority of the arbitrator.

Requires arbitration awards to include a brief, informal discussion of the factual and legal basis for the award. Declares that formal findings of fact or conclusions of law are not required. Makes the award final and binding on the parties to the matter and subject to judicial review. Grants authority to agency heads to terminate the artibration proceeding or vacate the award before it becomes final. Prohibits an award that is vacated from being admissible in any proceeding relating to the issues in controversy with respect to which the award was made. Requires an agency head who has vacated an award in an arbitration proceeding to award attorney fees and other expenses incurred in such proceeding to all parties other than the United States who petition for such award unless special circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.

Directs the Chairman of the Conference to compile and maintain data on the use of alternative means of dispute resolution in conducting agency proceedings.

Authorizes agencies to use the services and facilities of other agencies with their consent for dispute resolution proceedings.

Authorizes a U.S. district court, upon application by a person who is not a party to the abitration, to vacate an award if the use of arbitration or the award is clearly inconsistent with factors set forth by this Act.

Amends the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 to authorize the use of alternative means of dispute resolution or other mutually agreeable procedures for resolving claims. Applies the provisions of this Act to such alternative means of dispute resolution. Terminates such authorization on October 1, 1995. Provides for judicial review of arbitral awards.

Amends the Labor Management Relations Act to authorize the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to make services available to Federal agencies to aid in the resolution of disputes under this Act.

Authorizes each Federal agency to use arbitration or other alternative means of dispute resolution to settle any tort claim against the United States not in excess of the amount of a claim the agency may compromise or settle without the Attorney General's prior approval.

Increases the amount of a Government claim that may be compromised by an agency.

Sets forth criteria for the use of non-attorneys as representatives of parties to any dispute.

Terminates the authority of agencies to engage in dispute resolution proceedings under this Act on October 1, 1995. Declares that such authority will continue in effect with respect to pending proceedings which require continuation.