Alternative dispute resolution: a viable method for settling government contract disputes
Eaton, David S.
Henderson, David R.
Roberts, Nancy C.
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While arbitration and mediation have gained almost universal acceptance for settling commercial contract disputes, resolution of contract disputes in the Federal Government has continued to be slow, time consuming, and expensive. The participants in these processes have turned toward a new approach that offers an expedient, inexpensive, and less adversarial method for settling these disputes known as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). This thesis provides information on various methods of ADR, detailing advantages, disadvantages, and characteristics for case suitability. The research found, through the interviews conducted and the literature reviewed, that there are general misconceptions and impediments to the implementation of ADR. There was a general lack of knowledge of the different methods of ADR available. Many of the personnel interviewed did not know of their full authority to use ADR as provided by the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act. One major obstacle that was found in evaluating ADR is that there is an absence of reliable data to support the claims of ADR. Personnel interviewed in the Federal Government indicated that there is a lack of incentives for the Government to use ADR. One reason for this was due to the use of the 'continued performance clause.
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