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Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)


VHA ADR Steering Committee Action Plan



On May 14, 1999, The Chief Network Officer (CNO) established a VHA ADR Steering Committee to develop a proposal for the establishment and implementation of a comprehensive and effective VHA ADR Program. The CNO’s ADR vision was set forth in four charges to the VHA ADR Steering Committee, which are as follows:

Charge 1. Conduct an inventory of all field facilities to determine the presence or absence of ADR methodologies for conflict resolution. Findings from this inventory
will establish a baseline for program implementation.

Charge 2. Study existing programs both inside and outside VA to determine "best practices" and "lessons learned." 

Charge 3. Design an ADR program suitable for VHA that will provide the necessary foundation for establishing ADR as an effective tool for management officials as well as for employees throughout VHA. 

Charge 4. Once the program design has been approved, oversee the implementation, devising strategies that will ensure its success. 


This action plan and outline was submitted by the VHA ADR Steering Committee as part of an effort to develop a comprehensive plan of action for the implementation of successful national, regional, and local facility ADR programs and plans throughout VHA. The Steering Committee decided that the development of a comprehensive VHA program would need to encompass appropriate national (HQ) level policy, guidance and support while still meeting the needs of local VHA facilities for assistance. The assistance provided to the local VHA facilities should be in the form of policy guidance, sample programs and forms, best practices, training and other resources. Therefore, the Steering Committee proposed to develop and implement VHA ADR policies, directives, and resources following two paths or initiatives: 

Initiative A - Support the efforts of local VHA facilities (and VISNs) to design and implement individual in-house or shared mediation programs; and 

Initiative B - Support the development of a national (HQ) VHA ADR program, that institutionalizes mediation and ADR within VHA and focuses on providing national policy and guidance.


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