resolution (ADR) initiatives (Senger, 2014). The government agencies prefer using mediation tosolve their operational and policy challenges this allows the government to save valuableresources by minimizing unnecessary litigation. Since the 1970s the government opted to use alternative dispute resolution (ADR)processes to reduce court backlogs as well as deal with natural resource and environmentaldisputes. In 1985, the Attorney General directed the need to recognize ADR to reduce expenseand time related to civil litigation (Nabatchi, 2014). Later, Department of Justice through itsAssistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel gave a Congressional testimony thathighlighted the benefits of ADR leading to the first ADR legislation being passed in Congress in1990. Several mediation initiatives have been adopted and implemented by the Federalgovernment and Congress especially settling workplace disputes (Senger, 2014).
MEDIATION 9In the 1990s, Congress enacted three laws Alternative Dispute Resolution Act of 1998and the Administrative Dispute Resolution Acts of 1990 and 1996 which obligated governmentagencies to adopt a policy that encouraged the integration of ADR in decision making andallowing the federal trial courts to open ADR programs to litigants (Noll, 2013). The programsincluded the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's regulations; Executive Order 12871,Labor Management Partnerships; the National Performance Review; and the Civil Rights Act of1991. Furthermore, the United States Courts for the District of Columbia Circuit’s Office of theCircuit Executive administers the United States District Court Mediation Program (Senger,2014). The program is led by a Director of Dispute Resolution who assigns cases to qualifiedvolunteer mediators and offers parties the suitable instructions and notification. The program alsoacts as a resource for program mediators as they handle cases, supervises volunteer training, andcollect appropriate statistical information (Nabatchi, 2014). Such executive and legal actions bythe federal government demonstrate the increasing significance of ADR in dispute resolution aswell as the need to cooperate and share ADR information among federal agencies.5.Ethical ObligationsThe mediator must ensure a fair process as they responsible for determining the processstrategy or design; reality testing or line of questioning; suspending or terminating the process;and whether to permit (Alfini, 2017). Such critical decisions greatly impact the outcome of theprocess. Confidentiality, conflict of interest, deceptive conduct or lack of good faith, the capacityof the parties, power differentials, inequality leads to ethical challenges. The mediator mustrespect the principle of self-determination that is applicable to the parties and must only facilitate
MEDIATION 10the process. With regards to impartiality, the mediator is obligated to be impartial and neutral(Alfini, 2017). Besides, they are required to disclose all potential or actual conflicts of interestjudiciously known to them. After such disclosure, they must opt to recuse themselves or decline