OHA's Alternative Dispute Resolution Office (ADRO) serves as a resource to all DOE components and contractors to explore efficient and cost-effective means of resolving conflicts and preventing disputes, without the formalities and costs of litigation. ADRO's mission is to provide mediation services and to promote the use of dispute prevention and alternative dispute resolution techniques at all levels of the DOE complex. (See the ADR Office Brochure)
ADRO was created as a result of the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 (the ADR Act), with the mandate to promote and increase the understanding and use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) within the Department. While the ADR Act focuses on issues already in controversy, ADRO's mandate was expanded to encourage the identification and prevention of potential conflicts throughout the DOE complex. ADR includes a variety of dispute resolution processes (including, but not limited to, conciliation, facilitation, mediation, mini-trials, arbitration, use of the ombudsman, or any combination thereof) that assist people in avoiding more polarizing (and, potentially, more costly) forums such as litigation. To that end, ADRO directs DOE's Mediation Program which provides mediation services to resolve workplace disputes DOE complex wide.
On June 1, 2017, Secretary Perry expressed his support for the use of ADR in DOE activities through the issuance of an ADR secretarial statement.
For the full statement, please see below.