The Office of Dispute Resolution for Acquisition (ODRA) is the sole, statutorily designated tribunal for all contract disputes and bid protests under the FAA’s Acquisition Management System. The ODRA dispute resolution process recognizes that it is in the best interests of the FAA and its private sector business partners to work collaboratively to avoid and, where possible, voluntarily resolve acquisition-related controversies in a timely and fair manner. To that end, consistent with its statutory mandate, the ODRA uses a variety of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) techniques to the maximum extent practicable. For those matters that cannot be avoided or resolved through the use of ADR, the ODRA provides a flexible, efficient and transparent adjudication process under the authority of the Administrative Procedure Act.
More than 750 cases have been filed with the ODRA over the past 14 years. Of those, approximately 90 percent of all contract disputes and two-thirds of all bid protests have been resolved in the ADR process without an adjudicated decision. Of the more than 100 pre-dispute matters handled by the ODRA in that time, less than 5% have required adjudication.
The FAA’s dispute resolution process has been recognized as a leader in the public contracting field. In 2003, the FAA received the Office of Management and Budget’s Outstanding ADR Program Award for its “innovative and effective” ODRA Program. In 2008, the ABA Section of Public Contract Law recognized the ODRA for “a decade of excellent service to the public contracting community by advancing the use of alternative dispute resolution as a means to resolve bid protests and contract disputes.” In 2011, the ODRA was recognized, by the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, for the contribution of ODRA personnel to the development of a contract award challenge program for that organization.