10 CFR 1023.8 - Alternative dispute resolution (ADR).
(a) Statement of Policy. It is the policy of the DOE and of the Board to facilitate consensual resolution of disputes and to employ ADR in all of the Board's functions when agreed to by the parties. ADR is a core judicial function performed by the Board and its judges.
(b) ADR for Docketed Cases. Pursuant to the agreement of the parties, the Board, in an exercise of discretion, may approve either the use of Board-annexed ADR (ADR which is conducted under Board auspices and pursuant to Board order) or the suspension of the Board's procedural schedule to permit the parties to engage in ADR outside of the Board's purview. While any form of ADR may be employed, the forms of ADR commonly employed using Board judges as neutrals are: case evaluation by a settlement judge (with or without mediation by the judge); arbitration; mini-trial; summary (time and procedurally limited) trial with one-judge; summary binding (non-appealable) bench decision; and fact-finding.
(c) ADR for Non-Docketed Disputes. As a general matter the earlier a dispute is identified and resolved, the less the financial and other costs incurred by the parties. When a contract is not yet complete there may be opportunities to eliminate tensions through ADR and to confine and resolve problems in a way that the remaining performance is eased and improved. For these reasons, the Board is available to provide a full range of ADR services and facilities before, as well as after, a case is filed with the Board. A contracting officer's decision is not a prerequisite for the Board to provide ADR services and such services may be furnished whenever they are warranted by the overall best interests of the parties. The forms of ADR most suitable for mid-performance disputes are often the non-dispositive forms such as mediation, facilitation and fact-finding, mini-trials, or non-binding arbitration, although binding arbitration is also available.
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