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Alternative Dispute Resolution

Alternative Dispute Resolution

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Alternative Dispute Resolution

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  1. Alternative Dispute Resolution Presentation to NIH 25 June 2008 Lynda O’Sullivan Ken Lechter Office of the AF General Counsel (Dispute Resolution Division)

  2. ADR – What is it? “Any procedure that is used to resolve issues in controversy, including, but not limited to, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, factfinding, minitrials, arbitration, and use of ombuds, or any combination thereof.” - Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996, 5 USC § 571(3) - Air Force Policy Directive 51-12 (9 Jan 03)

  3. ADR - Where Does it Fit In? Q. What distinguishes most ADR processes from unassisted negotiations of the parties, even if they use IBN? A. Introduction of a neutral third party to assist parties to resolve their dispute (exception: Contract Disputes Act) Q. What distinguishes ADR from standard adjudicative forms of dispute resolution? A. Several things: • A voluntary process • Confidentiality • Informality • Greater control by parties over process & outcome • Faster resolution; lower cost • Greater opportunity for creative solutions • Improved relationships

  4. The Dispute Resolution Spectrum ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION NEGOTIATION LITIGATION Outcome Prediction Assistance Public Litigation Unassisted Negotiations Assisted Negotiations Private Adjudication Early Neutral Evaluation Fact-Finding Non-binding Arbitration Facilitation Mediation Conciliation Mini-Trial Article I Courts and Boards (e.g., EEOC, MSPB, FLRA, ASBCA) Article III Courts Binding Arbitration Summary Trial with Binding Decision Positional Negotiation Interest-based Negotiation Binding Processes Non-Binding Processes

  5. Mediation N Process Dynamics: Third-party assisted negotiations P2 P1 N N Unique Features: Confidential caucuses Neutral as facilitator P2 P1 Decisionmakers: The parties P2 P1 +

  6. Facilitation N Process Dynamics: Third-party assisted negotiations P2 P1 Unique Features: Neutral as facilitator; IBN techniques N Decisionmakers: The parties P2 P1 +

  7. Early Neutral Evaluation Process Dynamics: Third-party assistance with negotiations N P1 P2 Unique Features: Evaluation of likely outcome; Assessment of facts and/or methodology N P1 P2 Decisionmakers: The parties P1 P2 +

  8. Workplace Disputes • Integrate ADR into traditional complaint processes • Negotiated grievance procedures • EEO complaints (formal and informal) • MSPB appeals • Labor-management disputes • NSPS adverse actions, appeals, and labor-management disputes • Promote ADR as the preferred dispute resolution option (voluntary and confidential) • Maintain a cadre of highly trained and experienced mediators and facilitators • Train management personnel in effective conflict management techniques • Metrics critical to program evaluation

  9. Distribution of Air Force Civilian Workplace Disputes FY 2007 Source: FY 07 AF ADR Report

  10. Average Number of Days for Closure of EEO Complaints FY 07 ADR resolves complaints in much less time than other closure methods. Source: EEOC Form 462

  11. Somewhat Dissatisfied Very Dissatisfied Neutral Somewhat Satisfied Very Satisfied ADR Customer Satisfaction (FY07)

  12. Questions & Discussion