Finding and Hiring Quality Neutrals: What Every Government Official Needs to Know
For many years this was the most comprehensive available document on developing dispute resolution systems for handling disputes involving the federal government. This page contains a brief overview and a link to the full text (73 pages if printed in original format.) For a more recent treatment which also discusses many other issues, see Jeffrey Senger, Federal Dispute Resolution: Using ADR with the United States Government (Jossey-Bass, 2003.)
Originally published 1996 jointly by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service; Department of Health and Human Services (Division of Alternative Dispute Resolution Services, Departmental Appeals Board); Department of Justice, Office of the Senior Counsel for Dispute Resolution; Department of State, Office of the Dispute Resolution Specialist; Department of the Treasury, National Office of Appeals; and Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission.
From the Introduction:
When should neutrals from the private sector, from within the agency involved in the dispute, or from another agency be used?
What policy, budgetary, conflict of interest and other issues arise?
What is your agency's perspective?
Beginning in mid-1994, the Administrative Conference of the U.S. and the Interagency ADR Working Groups sponsored an attempt to address these and related questions. This monograph examines the main questions that were put to the panel in four successive discussions over more than a year.
The monograph is constructed approximately in the form of a transcript, and draws heavily from transcriptions of two workshops held during the 1995 annual conference of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. But some of those who had much to contribute could not be present at every meeting of the group. In order to take advantage of their perspectives, and for purposes of clarity, the discussion has been edited and reorganized, and some comments (particularly Philip Harter's), made at sessions that were not recorded, have been added back in. The edited "transcript" attempts to capture the essence, not necessarily the sequence, of a complex and multi-faceted discussion.
Sponsoring this working group was among the last of a long series of contributions to the dispute resolution field by the Administrative Conference, which ceased to exist as an agency of the Government on October 31, 1995. We would like to express our gratitude to the Conference's management and staff for their forward-looking response to a difficult situation. Thanks are also due to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission, without whose joint support Christopher Honeyman's involvement in this group would not have been possible. The reader should note, however, that the opinions of all of the participants are their own, and are not necessarily those of the U.S. Government agencies represented, or of the Foundation or the Commission.