An Assessment of Factors that Affect the Employment of Alternative Dispute Resolution Techniques to Resolve Contract Disputes
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSON AFB OH SCHOOL OF LOGISTICS AND ACQUISITION MANAGEMENT
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This study investigated the factors which potentially influence contracting and legal professionals decisions to employ Alternative Dispute Resolution ADR techniques to resolve contract disputes. A literature review revealed that unawareness, excessive oversight, lack of management support, over-regulation, and interdisciplinary conflict on acquisition teams are or have been the most prominent factors discouraging the use of ADR. An additional background investigation determined that the United States Army, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Navy had extensive experience and expertise regarding ADR use. Therefore, surveys over 250 were administered to various contracting and legal offices throughout these agencies, of which 57 were returned. The majority of the respondents indicated that except for unawareness, these factors imparted very little influence on their decision to employ ADR. Regarding unawareness, the data indicated a specific need for improvement in areas of training and publicity. For the training sessions, the respondents suggested ADR experts discuss the different types of ADR and under what circumstances to use them, as well as provide general guidelines for ADR implementation. With regard to publicity, the respondents indicated a need for more dissemination of success stories and lessons learned throughout their agencies in order to strengthen contracting and legal personnels proficiency for employing ADR. Generally, the respondents indicated that the current dispute resolution environment is promoting the use of ADR to resolve contract disputes, and that its use will increase over the next few years.
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