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

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S 971 RCS
101st CONGRESS
2d Session
S. 971
[Report No. 101-543]
To authorize and encourage Federal agencies to use mediation, conciliation,
arbitration, and other techniques for the prompt and informal resolution of
disputes, and for other purposes.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
May 11 (legislative day, JANUARY 3), 1989
Mr. GRASSLEY (for himself and Mr. DECONCINI) introduced the following bill;
which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Governmental Affairs
October 19 (legislative day, OCTOBER 2), 1990
Reported by Mr. GLENN, with an amendment
[Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed
in italic]
October 20 (legislative day, OCTOBER 2), 1990
Ordered referred to the Committee on the Judiciary for a period not to exceed
twenty-four hours
A BILL
To authorize and encourage Federal agencies to use mediation, conciliation,
arbitration, and other techniques for the prompt and informal resolution of
disputes, and for other purposes.
  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
  States of America in Congress assembled,  [Struck out->] That this Act
  may be cited as the `Administrative Dispute Resolution Act'. [] SEC. 2. FINDINGS. []   The Congress finds that-- []   (1) administrative procedure, as embodied in chapter 5 of
 title 5, United States Code, and other statutes, is intended to offer prompt,
 expert, and inexpensive means of resolving disputes as an alternative to
 litigation in the Federal courts; []   (2) administrative proceedings have become marked
 increasingly by formality, costs, and delays and often result in unnecessary
 expenditures of the time of individuals and the resources of society
 and decreased likelihood of achieving consensual resolution of disputes;
 []   (3) alternative means of dispute resolution (including
 settlement negotiations, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, factfinding,
 minitrials, and arbitration have been used in the private sector for many
 years and, in appropriate circumstances, have yielded decisions that are
 faster, less expensive, and less contentious; []   (4) such alternative means also lead to more creative,
 efficient, and sensible outcomes that foster stability because of the
 acceptability of such means to the parties involved and the public in general;
 []   (5) such alternative means may be used advantageously in
 widely varied administrative programs; []   (6) explicit authorization of use of well-tested
 dispute resolution techniques will eliminate ambiguity of agency power
 under applicable law and will encourage use of commonsense procedures in
 appropriate cases; []   (7) every agency shall undertake a careful review of
 programs and the disputes involved to ensure increased application of
 appropriate alternative means; []   (8) Federal agencies may not only receive the benefit of
 techniques that were developed in the private sector, but may also take
 the lead in the further development and refinement of such techniques; and
 []   (9) the availability of a wide range of dispute resolution
 procedures, and an increased understanding of the most effective use of
 such procedures, will enhance the operation of the Government and better
 serve the public. [] SEC. 3. PROMOTION OF ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF DISPUTE
 RESOLUTION. []   (a) PROMULGATION OF AGENCY POLICY- Each agency is encouraged
 to promulgate policies that address the use of the full range of alternative
 means of dispute resolution and case management in each administrative
 program of such agency. In developing policy, each agency is encouraged to--
 []   (1) consult with the Administrative Conference of the United
 States, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, and professional
 associations; and []   (2) examine procedures for resolving every kind of dispute
 including controversies that arise as a part of-- []   (A) formal or informal adjudication; []   (B) rulemaking; []   (C) enforcement; []   (D) issuing or revoking permits; []   (D) settling disputes; and []   (F) litigation brought by or against the agency. []   (b) DISPUTE RESOLUTION SPECIALISTS- Each agency shall
 designate a senior official to be the dispute resolution specialist of the
 agency. Such official shall implement-- []   (1) the provisions of this Act with regard to such agency;
 and []   (2) the agency policy promulgated pursuant to subsection
 (a). []   (c) TRAINING- Each agency shall provide for training
 to be made available regularly to the dispute resolution specialist of
 the agency and other employees involved in implementing the policy of the
 agency under this Act. Such training may encompass theory and practice of
 negotiation, mediation, arbitration, or related techniques. The dispute
 resolution specialist shall periodically recommend to the agency head a
 list of agency employees for similar training. []   (d) PROCEDURES FOR GRANTS AND CONTRACTORS-  []   (1) Each agency shall review each of its standard contract,
 grant, and other assistance agreements and shall amend them to authorize
 and encourage use of alternative means of dispute resolution at all stages
 where disputes under future contracts or agreements may arise. The Office
 of Federal Procurement Policy of the Office of Management and Budget shall
 consult with agencies and other persons to develop guidance and standard
 clauses for contracts. Each agency shall revise its future grant agreements
 to permit and encourage its grantees to use an alternative means of dispute
 resolution with respect to any dispute with a subgrantee, contractor,
 or other adverse party, which the grantee would be permitted to use with
 respect to dispute with the Federal Government. []   (2) Within one year after the date of enactment of this
 Act, the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council and the Defense Acquisition
 Council, in consultation with the Administrative Conference of the United
 States, shall adopt any amendments to the Federal Acquisition Regulation,
 or propose any statutory changes, necessary to adopt acquisition procedures
 to the requirements of the dispute resolution process. [] SEC. 4. ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES. []   (a) ADMINISTRATIVE HEARINGS- Section 556(c) of title 5,
 United States Code, is amended-- []   (1) in paragraph (6) by inserting before the semicolon at
 the end thereof: `or by the use of alternative means of dispute resolution
 as provided by subchapter IV of this chapter'; and []   (2) by redesignating paragraphs (7) through (9) through (11),
 respectively and inserting after paragraph (6) the following new paragraphs:
 []   `(7) inform the parties as to the availability of one or more
 alternative means of dispute resolution, and encourage use of such methods;
 []   `(8) require the attendance at any conference held pursuant
 to section (6) of at least one representative of each party who has authority
 to negotiate concerning resolution of issues in controversy;'. []   (b) ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION- Chapter 5 of
 title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the
 following new subchapter: [] `SUBCHAPTER IV--ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN
 THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS [] Sec. 581. Definitions []   `For the purposes of this subchapter-- []   `(1) `agency' has the same meaning as in section 551(1)
 of this title; []   `(2) `administrative program' means any program administered
 by an agency and includes a Federal function which involves protection
 of the public interest and the determination of rights, privileges, and
 obligations of private persons through rulemaking, adjudication, licensing,
 or investigation, as such terms are used in section 551 of this title;
 []   `(3) `alternative means of dispute resolution' means
 any procedure that is voluntarily used to resolve issues in controversy,
 including but not limited to, settlement negotiations, conciliation,
 facilitation, mediation, factfinding, minitrials, and arbitration, or any
 combination thereof; []   `(4) `dispute resolution communication' means any oral or
 written communication or conduct made in confidence in connection with a
 dispute resolution proceeding by any party, neutral, nonparty participant,
 or other source of information relevant to the proceeding; []   `(5) `dispute resolution document' means any written
 material that is-- []   `(A) prepared for the purpose of, in the course of, or
 pursuant to a settlement proceeding, including memoranda, notes, and work
 product of the neutral and the parties; or []   `(B) provided to the neutral or other parties in confidence
 for purposes of the dispute resolution proceeding; [] an agreement of arbitral award reached as a result of a
 dispute resolution proceeding is not a dispute resolution document unless
 the parties agree in writing and the law otherwise allows that it shall be
 regarded as such; []   `(6) `dispute resolution proceeding' means any process
 in which an alternative means of dispute resolution is used to resolve
 an issue in controversy in which a neutral is appointed and indentified
 parties participate; []   `(7) `in confidence' means that the information is provided--
 []   `(A) with the expressed desire of the source that it not
 be disclosed; or []   `(B) under circumstances that would create the reasonable
 expectation on behalf of the source that the information will not be
 disclosed; []   `(8) `issue in controversy' means a question that is material
 to a decision concerning an administrative program about which persons
 who would be substantially affected by the decision or agency disagree;
 []   `(9) `neutral' means an individual who, with respect to
 an issue in controversy, serves as a conciliator, facilitator, mediator,
 factfinder, or arbitrator, or otherwise functions specifically to aid the
 parties in resolving the controversy; []   `(10) `party' means-- []   `(A) for proceedings with designated parties, the same as
 in section 551(3) of this title; and []   `(B) for proceedings without designated parties, a person
 who will be significantly affected by the decision and who participates in
 the proceeding; []   `(11) `person' has the same meaning as in section 551(2)
 of this title; and []   `(12) `roster' means a list of persons qualified to provide
 services as neutrals. [] `Sec. 582. General authority []   `(a) Each agency may use a dispute resolution proceeding for
 the resolution of any issue in controversy that relates to an administrative
 program, if the parties agree to such procedures. []   `(b) In determining whether the use of a dispute resolution
 proceeding is appropriate, an agency and the parties shall consider whether--
 []   `(1) a definitive or authoritative resolution of the matter
 is required for precedential value and, if so, whether such as proceeding is
 likely to be accepted generally as an authoritative precedent; []   `(2) the matter involves or may bear upon significant
 questions of Government policy that require additional procedures before
 a final resolution may be made and, if so, whether such a proceeding may
 serve to develop a recommended policy for the agency; []   `(3) maintaining established policies is of special
 importance, so that variations among individual decisions are not increased,
 and, if so, whether such a proceeding would likely reach consistent results
 among individual decisions; []   `(4) the matter significantly affects persons or
 organizations who are not parties to the proceeding; []   `(5) a full public record of the proceeding is important and,
 if so, whether a dispute resolution proceeding can provide such a record;
 and []   `(6) the agency must maintain continuing jurisdiction over
 the matter with authority to alter the disposition in the light of changed
 circumstances and, if so, whether a dispute resolution proceeding would
 interfere with the agency's fulfilling that requirement. [] `Sec. 583. Neutrals []   `(a) A neutral may be a permanent or temporary government
 employee or a private 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 and all parties agree
 that the neutral may serve. []   `(b) A neutral who serves as a conciliator, facilitator,
 or mediator serves at the will of the parties. [] `Sec. 584. Confidentiality []   `(a) A neutral in a dispute resolution proceeding shall
 not voluntarily nor through discovery or compulsory process be required
 to disclose or testify concerning any dispute resolution document or any
 dispute resolution communication, unless-- []   `(1) all parties to the dispute resolution proceeding and
 the neutral consent in writing, and if the dispute resolution communication
 or dispute resolution document was provided by a nonparty participant,
 that participant also consents in writing; []   `(2) the request is for a document that was provided to the
 neutral in a public meeting or is otherwise already in the public domain;
 []   `(3) the dispute resolution communication or dispute
 resolution document is required by statute to be made public, but only if
 no other person is reasonably available to provide the document or disclose
 the communication; the neutral shall make a good-faith effort to inform the
 parties to a dispute resolution proceeding as early as possible or any such
 requirements that may be relevant; or []   `(4) a court determines that such testimony or disclosure
 is necessary to-- []   `(A) prevent a manifest injustice, []   `(B) reveal a violation of law, or []   `(C) protect the public health or safety [] of sufficient magnitude in the particular case to outweigh
 the integrity of dispute resolution proceedings in general by reducing the
 confidence of parties in future cases that their communications will remain
 confidential. []   `(b) A party to a dispute resolution proceeding shall
 not voluntarily nor through discovery or compulsory process be required
 to disclose or testify concerning any dispute resolution document or any
 dispute resolution communication, unless-- []   `(1) all parties to the dispute resolution proceeding
 consent in writing; []   `(2) the request is for a document already in the public
 domain; []   `(3) the dispute resolution communication or dispute
 resolution document is required by statute to be made public; []   `(4) such testimony or disclosure is necessary to--
 []   `(A) prevent a manifest injustice, []   `(B) reveal a violation of law, or []   `(C) protect the public health and safety [] of sufficient magnitude in the particular case to outweigh
 the integrity of dispute resolution proceedings in general by reducing the
 confidence of parties in future cases that their communications will remain
 confidential; or []   `(5) the dispute resolution document or dispute resolution
 communication is relevant to the resolution of a dispute concerning existence
 or meaning of an agreement that resulted from the proceeding or to the
 enforcement of such an agreement or award. []   `(c) The parties may-- []   `(1) agree that subsections (a) or (b) will not apply to
 their dispute resolution proceeding; or []   `(2) modify the terms of subsection (a) or (b) by agreement
 in which case that agreement will prevail to the extent authorized by
 law. [] The parties shall inform the neutral prior to the commencement
 of the dispute resolution proceeding of any modifications to the provisions of
 subsection (a) that will govern the confidentiality of the dispute resolution
 proceeding. If the parties do not so inform the neutral, subsection (a)
 shall apply. []   `(d) If a demand, by way of discovery request or
 other legal process, is made for disclosure by the neutral of a dispute
 resolution document or dispute resolution communication, the neutral shall
 make reasonable efforts to notify the parties and any affected nonparty
 participants. Any party or affected nonparty participant that is provided
 such notice and does not offer to defend the refusal of the neutral or
 disclose or testify concerning the dispute resolution communication or
 dispute resolution document shall be regarded as waiving any objection to
 such disclosure or testimony. []   `(e) Nothing in this section shall prevent the discovery or
 admissibility of any evidence that is otherwise discoverable merely because it
 was presented in the course of a dispute resolution proceeding. []   `(f) Subparagraphs (a) and (b) shall have no effect on the
 information and data that are required to document an agreement or order
 nor on the parts of a dispute resolution proceeding that are or are not
 open to the public either as a matter of law or policy. []   `(g) Subsections (a) and (b) do not prevent the gathering
 of information for statistical or research purposes or educational efforts in
 cooperation with other agencies, governmental entities, or dispute resolution
 programs, so long as the parties or the specific issues in controversy are
 not identifiable. []   `(h) Subsections (a) and (e) do not apply to any action
 concerning a dispute between the neutral in a dispute resolution proceeding
 and a party or participant, but only to the extent that the communication
 document or is used resolving that dispute and not any issue in controversy
 in the dispute resolution proceeding. [] `Sec. 585. Authorization of arbitration []   `(a)(1) Arbitration as provided by this subchapter may
 be used whenever all parties consent, either before or after a dispute has
 arisen. An agency may not require any person to consent to arbitration as
 a condition of entering into a contract or obtaining any benefit. A party
 may agree to-- []   `(A) submit only certain issues in controversy to
 arbitration; or []   `(B) arbitration on the condition that the award must be
 within a range of possible outcomes. []   `(2) Any arbitration agreement that sets forth the subject
 matter submitted to the arbitrator shall be in writing. []   `(b) Any agency official may offer to use arbitration for
 the resolution of issues in controversy, if such official-- []   `(1) has authority to enter into settlement stipulations
 concerning a matter; or []   `(2) is otherwise specifically authorized by the agency
 to consent to use of arbitration. [] `Sec. 586. Enforcement of arbitration agreements []   `An agreement to arbitrate is enforceable pursuant to
 section 4 of title 9, United States Code, and no action brought to enforce
 such an agreement shall be dismissed nor shall relief therein be denied on
 the grounds that it is against the United States or that the United States
 is an indispensable party. [] `Sec. 587. Arbitrators []   `(a) The parties shall be entitled to participate in the
 selection of the arbitrator. []   `(b) The arbitrator shall be a neutral who meets the
 criteria of section 583 of this title. [] `Sec. 588. Authority of the arbitrator []   `An arbitrator to whom a dispute is referred under this
 subchapter may-- []   `(1) regulate the course of and conduct arbitral hearings;
 []   `(2) administer oaths and affirmations; []   `(3) issue subpoenas for attendance of witnesses and
 production of evidence at the hearing, enforceable under the provisions of
 section 7 of title 9, United States Code, except that no subpoena shall be
 issued except for material that is clearly relevant to the resolution of the
 issues and is necessary to achieve justice in the matter; and []   `(4) make awards. [] `Sec. 589. Arbitration proceedings []   `(a) The arbitrator shall set a time and place for
 the hearing and notify the parties not less than five days prior to the
 hearing. []   `(b) Any party wishing a stenographic record of the hearing
 shall-- []   `(1) be responsible for the preparation of such record;
 []   `(2) notify the other parties and the arbitrator of the
 preparation of such record; []   `(3) furnish copies to all parties and the arbitrator;
 and []   `(4) pay all costs for such record, unless the parties
 agree otherwise or the arbitrator determines that cost should be
 apportioned. []   `(c)(1) The parties are entitled to be heard, to present
 evidence material to the controversy, and to cross-examine witnesses
 appearing at the hearing. []   `(2) The arbitrator may, with the consent of the
 parties, conduct all or part of the hearing by telephone, television,
 computer, or other electronic means, if each party has an opportunity to
 participate. []   `(3) The hearing shall be conducted expeditiously and in
 an informal manner. []   `(4) The arbitrator may receive any oral or documentary
 evidence, except that irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious, or
 privileged evidence may be excluded by the arbitrator. []   `(5) The arbitrator shall interpret and apply relevant
 statutory and regulatory requirements, legal precedents, and policy
 directives. []   `(d) No interested person shall make or knowingly cause to
 be made to the arbitrator an unauthorized ex parte communication relevant
 to the merits of the proceeding, unless the parties agree otherwise. If a
 communication is made in violation of this subsection, the arbitrator shall
 assure that a memorandum of the communication is prepared and made a part of
 the record, and that an opportunity for rebuttal is allowed. Upon receipt
 of a communication made in violation of this subsection, the arbitrator
 may, to the extent consistent with the interests of justice and the policy
 underlying this subchapter, require the offending party to show cause why
 his claim of such party should not be resolved against the offending party
 as a result of the improper conduct. []   `(e) The arbitrator shall make the award within thirty days
 of the close of the hearing, including the filing of any briefs authorized
 by the neutral, unless-- []   `(1) the parties agree to some other time limit; or
 []   `(2) the agency provides by rule for some other time
 limit. [] `Sec. 590. Arbitration awards []   `(a) Unless the agency provides otherwise by rule, the award
 in an arbitration proceeding shall include a brief, informal discussion of
 the factual and legal basis, but formal findings of fact or conclusions
 of law shall not be required. The award shall be filed with all relevant
 agencies, along with proof of service on all parties by the prevailing
 party. []   `(b) The award shall be final and binding on the parties
 to the matter, and may be enforced pursuant to section 9 of title 9,
 United States Code. No action brought to enforce such an agreement shall
 be dismissed nor shall relief therein be denied on the grounds that it is
 against the United States or that the United States is an indispensable
 party. []   `(c) An award entered under this subchapter may not serve
 as an estoppel in any other proceeding for any issue that was resolved
 in the proceeding, nor may the award be used as precedent or otherwise
 be considered in any proceeding, whether conducted under this subchapter,
 by an agency, in a court, or in any other arbitral proceeding. [] `Sec. 591. Judicial review []   `(a) Any person adversely affected or aggrieved by an
 award made in a proceeding conducted under this subchapter may bring an
 action only pursuant to the provisions of sections 9 through 13 of title 9,
 United States Code. []   `(b) Section 10 of title 9, United States Code, is amended
 by adding a new subsection (f) that reads as follows: []   `(f) Where the award was issued pursuant to section
 595 of title 5, United States Code, if in consideration of the factors
 listed in section 589(b) of title 5, the consent of the agency to use
 arbitration to resolve the issues in controversy was a gross abuse of
 discretion.'. []   `(c) Any agency action relating to decisions to use or
 not to use a dispute resolution proceeding shall not be subject to judicial
 review. Any agency action relating to a decision to terminate an arbitration
 proceeding conducted pursuant to this subchapter shall be subject to judicial
 review only as provided in section 589(b) of title 5, United States Code,
 and section 10(f) of title 9, United States Code. [] `Sec. 592. Authorization to use services of employees of
 other agencies []   `An agency may use the services of one or more employees of
 other agencies to serve as neutrals in dispute resolution proceedings. The
 agencies may enter into an interagency agreement that provides for the
 reimbursement by the user agency or the parties of the full or partial cost
 of the services of an employee. [] `Sec. 593. Qualifications and roster of neutrals; procurement
 []   `(a) In consultation with the Federal Mediation and
 Conciliation Service, the Community Relations Service of the Department of
 Justice, and professional organizations in the area of dispute resolution,
 the Administrative Conference of the United States may-- []   `(1) establish standards for neutrals (including experience,
 training, affiliations, diligence, actual or potential bias or conflicts
 of interest, and other qualifications) to which agencies may refer;
 []   `(2) maintain a roster of individuals who meet such
 standards and are otherwise qualified to act as neutrals, which shall be
 made available upon request; []   `(3) enter into contracts for the services of neutrals
 that may be used by agencies on an elective basis in dispute resolution
 proceedings; and []   `(4) develop procedures that permit agencies to obtain
 the services of neutrals on an expedited basis. []   `(b) Any agency may contract with any person on a roster
 established under subsection (a) or a roster maintained by other public
 or private organizations or individuals for services as a neutral, or for
 training in connection with alternative means of dispute resolution. An agency
 may enter into an interagency agreement with the Administrative Conference
 of the United States to contract for the services of any person on a roster
 established under subsection (a) to serve as a neutral. The agency shall
 pay for the services of the neutral. An agency may negotiate a contract for
 the services of a neutral with any qualified person at compensation that
 the agency determines is fair and reasonable to the Government. [] `Sec. 594. Support services []   `(a) The Administrative Conference of the United States
 shall compile and maintain data on the use of alternative means of dispute
 resolution in conducting agency proceedings. Agencies shall supply such
 additional information required to enable the Chairman of the Administrative
 Conference of the United States to comply with this subsection. The
 Administrative Conference of the United States shall transmit periodic
 reports to the Congress containing data and recommendations concerning the
 use of alternative means of dispute resolution. []   `(b) The Chairman of the Administrative Conference of the
 United States may pay all or part of the expenses of using an alternative
 means of dispute resolution. Such expenses may include, but are not limited
 to, the costs of neutrals, the costs for certain parties determined to be
 eligible for assistance in accordance with section 595, administrative costs,
 and training costs. The determinations with respect to payments under this
 section shall be at the discretion of the Chairman in furthering the use
 of alternative means of dispute resolution by Federal agencies. []   `(c) For the purposes of this subchapter, an agency may
 use the services and facilities of other Federal agencies and public and
 private agencies, and individuals (with or without reimbursement) with
 the consent of such agencies and individuals. An agency may accept such
 voluntary and uncompensated services without regard to the provisions of
 section 1342 of title 31, United States Code. [] `Sec. 595. Funding of participation []   `(a)(1) Any agency may pay a reasonable amount to enable
 participation, if the agency determines that-- []   `(A) it is in the public interest to obtain the participation
 of one or more persons in a dispute resolution proceeding; and []   `(B) such persons are unable to participate without
 receiving financial assistance to reimburse expenses. []   `(2) In making a determination under paragraph (1) the
 agency shall consider-- []   `(A) the need for representation in the proceeding of a
 fair balance of interests; []   `(B) the complexity and importance of the issues involved;
 and []   `(C) the potential savings to the Government of using the
 particular type of proceeding instead of another procedure to resolve the
 issue in controversy. []   `(b) A person seeking financial assistance, to reimburse
 expenses of participation in an alternative means of dispute resolution,
 may submit an application to the Chairman of the Administrative Conference
 of the United States requesting such assistance. No such application shall
 be considered by the Chairman, unless the agency notifies the Chairman
 in writing of a determination under subsection (a) that participation by
 such person in the alternative proceeding is necessary and in the public
 interest. []   `(c)(1) Agency funds used to defray the travel expenses of
 any advisory committee as authorized by section 7 of the Federal Advisory
 Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2) shall be from the general funds of the
 agency, and not from any amount restricted to travel from appropriations
 to the agency. []   `(2) For the purpose of paragraph (1), the term `advisory
 committee' shall have the same meaning as such term is defined under section
 3(2) of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (5 U.S.C. App. 2).'. []   (c) TECHNICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections for chapter
 5 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof
 the following: [] `SUBCHAPTER IV--ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION IN
 THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS [] `581. Definitions. [] `582. General authority. [] `583. Neutrals. [] `584. Confidentiality. [] `585. Authorization of arbitration. [] `586. Enforcement of arbitration. [] `587. Arbitrators. [] `588. Authority of the arbitrator. [] `589. Arbitration proceedings. [] `590. Arbitration awards. [] `591. Judicial review. [] `592. Authorization to use services of employees of other
 agencies. [] `593. Qualifications and roster of neutrals;
 procurement. [] `594. Support services. [] `595. Funding or participation.'. [] SEC. 5. GOVERNMENT CONTRACT CLAIMS. []   (a) CONTRACTING OFFICERS- Section 6(a) of the Contract
 Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 605(a)) is amended by adding at the end
 thereof: `The contracting officer shall make all reasonable efforts to
 resolve a claim or dispute consensually, before or after making a decision
 under this section.'. []   (b) ALTERNATIVE MEANS OF DISPUTE RESOLUTION- Section 7 of
 the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 606) is amended-- []   (1) by redesignating such section as subsection (a) of
 section 7; and []   (2) adding at the end thereof the following new subsections:
 []   `(b) No provision of this Act may be construed to prevent
 the contract and a contracting officer from using any alternative means of
 dispute resolution under subchapter IV of title 5, United States Code, or
 other mutually agreeable procedures for resolving claims including binding
 arbitration of claims not in excess of $250,000. Any agency action relating
 to decisions to use or not to use a dispute resolution proceeding shall not
 be subject to judicial review. Any agency action relating to a decision to
 terminate an arbitration proceeding conducted pursuant to this subchapter
 shall be subject to judicial review only as provided in section 589(b) of
 title 5, United States Code, and section 10(f) of title 9, United States
 Code. []   `(c) Agencies' authorization to engage in arbitration
 pursuant to section (b) shall cease to be effective on October 1, 1995,
 except that it shall continue in effect with respect to then pending
 arbitration proceedings which, in the judgment of the agencies that are
 parties to such proceedings, require continuation until such arbitrations
 terminate.'. []   (c) EXPEDITED PROCESS- Section 8(f) of the Contract Disputes
 Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 607(f)) is amended by striking out `$50,000' and
 inserting in lieu thereof `$250,000'. []   (d) JUDICIAL REVIEW OF ARBITRAL AWARDS- Section 8(g) of
 the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 (41 U.S.C. 607(g)) is amended by adding
 at the end thereof the following subsection: []   `(3) All aspects of an award by an arbitrator shall be
 reviewed pursuant to sections 9 through 13 of title 9, United States Code,
 except that the court may set aside any award that is found to violate
 limitations imposed by Federal statute.'. [] SEC. 6. FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE. []   Section 203 of the Labor Management Relations Act, 1947
 (29 U.S.C. 173), is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new
 subsection: []   (f) The Service may make its services available to
 Federal agencies to aid in resolution of disputes under the provisions
 of subchapter IV of title 5, United States Code. Functions performed by
 the Service may include, but are not limited to, assisting parties to
 disputes relating to administrative programs, training persons in skills
 and procedures employed in alternative dispute resolution, and furnishing
 personnel to act as neutrals, as defined in section 581 of title 5, United
 States Code. Personnel assigned to act as neutrals should be qualified in
 accordance with section 593 of title 5, United States Code. The Service may
 consult and cooperate with the Administrative Conference of the United States
 and other agencies in maintaining rosters of neutrals and arbitrators, and
 to adopt such procedures and rules as necessary to carry out the services
 authorized in this subsection.'. [] SEC. 7. GOVERNMENT TORT AND OTHER CLAIMS. []   (a) Section 2672 of title 28, United States Code, is amended
 by inserting at the end of the first sentence the following: `except that
 any such award, compromise, or settlement may be effected without prior
 written approval to the extent the authority to do so is delegated to
 the head of the agency by the Attorney General of the United States. Such
 delegations may not exceed the authority delegated by the Attorney General
 to the United States attorneys to settle claims for money damages against
 the United States. Each Federal agency may use arbitration, or other means
 of dispute resolution under the provisions of subchapter IV of title 5,
 United States Code, to settle any tort claim against the United States,
 not in excess of the agency's authority to award, compromise, or settle
 without prior written approval of the Attorney General or his designee. Any
 agency action relating to decisions to use or not to use a dispute resolution
 proceeding under this section shall not be subject to judicial review, except
 as provided by section 589(b) of title 5, United States Code.'. []   (b) Section 3711(a)(2) of title 31, United States Code,
 is amended by striking out `$20,000' and inserting in lieu thereof
 `$250,000'. [] SEC. 8. USE OF NONATTORNEYS. []   (a) REPRESENTATION OF PARTIES- Each agency, in developing a
 policy on the use of alternative means of dispute resolution under this Act,
 shall identify any of its administrative programs with numerous claims or
 disputes before the agency and determine-- []   (1) the extent to which individuals are represented or
 assisted by attorneys or by persons who are not attorneys; and []   (2) whether the subject areas of the applicable proceedings
 or the procedures are so complex or specialized that only attorneys may
 adequately provide representation or assistance. []   (b) REPRESENTATION AND ASSISTANCE BY NONATTORNEYS- A
 person who is not an attorney may provide representation or assistance to
 any individual in a claim or dispute with an agency, if-- []   (1) such claim or dispute concerns an administrative
 program identified under subsection (a); []   (2) such agency determines that the proceeding or procedure
 does not necessitate representation or assistance by an attorney under
 subsection (a)(2); and []   (3) such person meets any requirement of the agency to
 provide representation or assistance. []   (c) DISQUALIFICATION OF REPRESENTATION OR ASSISTANCE- Any
 agency that adopts regulations under this section to permit representation
 or assistance by persons who are not attorneys shall review the rules of
 practice before such agency to-- []   (1) ensure that any rules pertaining to disqualification of
 attorneys from practicing before the agency shall also be made applicable
 as appropriate to other persons who provide representation or assistance;
 and []   (2) establish effective agency procedures for enforcing
 such rules of practice and for receiving complaints from affected
 persons. [] SEC. 9. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS. []   To carry out this Act, and notwithstanding section 576
 of title 5, United States Code, there are authorized to be appropriated to
 the Administrative Conference of the United States amounts not in excess of
 $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1990, 1991, and 1992. [