32.13 Appeals and disputes

32.13.2 Using ADR for contractual disputes

Regarding the use of ADR for contractual disputes, § 2.2-4366 of the Code of Virginia states: "Public bodies may enter into agreements to submit disputes arising from contracts entered into pursuant to this chapter to arbitration and utilize mediation and other alternative dispute resolution procedures. However, such procedures entered into by the Commonwealth, or any department, institution, division, commission, board or bureau thereof, shall be nonbinding and subject to § 2.2-514, as applicable."

ADR is designed to encourage the supplier and the purchasing agency to resolve contractual disputes through the informal ADR process. A supplier requesting ADR shall give written notice to the purchasing agency which specifies the contract dispute and requesting that ADR be commenced. Using an impartial mediator, the agency and the supplier will provide each other with all documents and information which are incidental to the contract claim. The mediator will assist representatives from the agency and the supplier to resolve the dispute amicably.

No obligation to negotiate or continue negotiating shall be inferred from the parties' agreement to use ADR, and each party shall remain free to discontinue ADR at any time. No agreement shall be deemed to arise from any communication during the ADR process, unless the agreement is reduced to writing and signed by duly-authorized representatives of both parties.