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Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program

About the BLM's Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program

The BLM has been utilizing collaboration and dispute resolution for decades -- both externally in relationships with the public, and internally in relationships among employees. The BLM’s Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program was established in 1997 to strengthen the existing efforts, and increase BLM capacity for, and use of, collaboration and dispute resolution. The Program is itself mandated by statute (Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1996), policy direction from the Office of Management and Budget and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality, and Departmental and Bureau policy and directives. 

The mission of the Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program is to increase the BLM's capacity for, and use of, collaborative and dispute resolution processes. The Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program serves the BLM States and Centers through the ADR Advisory Council, and serves the public through a national Ombuds service. By providing direct support services (such as assistance finding facilitation or designing a successful process), policy guidance, tracking and analysis, training, and acting as a clearinghouse for lessons-learned and best practices, the Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program helps to improve relationships, increase ownership and buy-in, and avoid costs by reducing or narrowing protests, appeals, and litigation.

While focusing on resource and environmental issues with external stakeholders, the Collaboration and Dispute Resolution Program also serves as one of several points of entry and provides for cordination and oversight with the CORE PLUS program, which is the Department of the Interior-wide system for preventing and resolving internal workplace and EEO disputes.