The seminal legislation enabling the federal government to use ADR was the Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996 (ADRA). That statute authorized the agencies’ use of ADR process to resolve disputes with the federal government and directed the convening of an interagency task force to facilitate and encourage the development and expansion of ADR programs. The President appointed the Attorney General as the leader of the Interagency Working Group and created four sections in specific subject matter areas:

Since its inception, the Interagency ADR Working Group has broadened its scope to include subcommittees for Arbitration, Ethics, Collaborative Governance, Environmental ADR and other areas.

The Interagency ADR Working Group has submitted two Reports to the President regarding ADR programs through the federal government. These are detailed account of the current programs in every federal agency. In addition, the Memorandum on Environmental Conflict Resolution (ECR) was released in 2005 and this directs agency EDDR efforts.

Executive Actions

Reports to the President

What is the Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Working Group?

We are the central forum and resource for information about the federal government's use of ADR. We advance the use of ADR through:

  • Coordination of multi-agency initiatives
  • Promotion of best practices and programs
  • Dissemination of policy and guidance

Federal ADR Programs and Contacts


By Mail:

Joanna M. Jacobs
Director and Senior Counsel
Office of Dispute Resolution
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Suite 4529
Washington, DC 20530-0001

By Email: