NASA logo NASA Headquarters' Directives
HQPR 3713.3A
Effective Date: January 05, 2010
Expiration Date: January 05, 2015
Responsible Office: LM1
NASA Headquarters Alternative Dispute Resolution in Matters Pertaining to Discrimination Complaints Under 29 C.F.R. Part 1614
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Table of Contents | PREFACE | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D

CHAPTER 1. Roles and Responsibilities

1.1 Assistant Administrator for Diversity and Equal Opportunity, ODEO

1.1.1 The Assistant Administrator (AA) for Diversity and Equal Opportunity has the authority to develop and administer effective and efficient Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) policies and procedures consistent with existing laws, regulations, Agency directives and guidance.

1.1.2 Under NASA's policy pertaining to discrimination complaints, the AA for Diversity and Equal Opportunity is responsible for:

a. The administration of an effective and efficient discrimination complaint program and ADR procedures regarding EEO matters; and

b. Oversight of the informal ("pre-complaint") stage of the discrimination complaint program, and direct responsibility for the formal complaint process.

1.1.3 The Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) shall be responsible for ensuring that there is an EEO ADR process in place at each Center and shall exercise oversight over the Agency and Center EEO ADR Procedures.

1.1.4 The AA for ODEO shall designate the Director, Complaints Management Division to oversee the operation of the EEO ADR process.

1.2 Director, Complaints Management Division, ODEO

1.2.1 The Director, Complaints Management Division shall:

a. Provide oversight of the day-to-day operations of the EEO ADR process; and

b. Appoint and supervise the Agency ADR Program Manager.

1.3 Agency ADR Program Manager, ODEO

1.3.1 The Agency ADR Program Manager (ADR Program Manager) shall be appointed by and reports to the Director, Complaints Management Division, ODEO.

1.3.2 The ADR Program Manager shall administer the Agency's EEO ADR program. In this regard the ADR Program Manager shall:

a. Provide policy and operational guidance for the Center ADR Programs;

b. Develop training and provide technical assistance to the Centers; and

c. Provide informational materials on EEO ADR for dissemination Agency-wide.

1.3.3 The ADR Program Manager shall be responsible for the day-to-day operation of the EEO ADR formal process. In this regard the ADR Program Manager shall:

a. Consult and coordinate with Centers regarding the determination of whether to offer mediation at the formal stage of the EEO complaints process;

b. Arrange for mediation at the formal stage of the process, including identifying a mediator, providing the mediator with the names of the parties to determine whether there is a potential or actual conflict of interest, contacting all the parties to the mediation and providing them with the name of the mediator(s), and providing the mediator with all pertinent documents needed to conduct the mediation; and

c. Determine, in consultation with the Center ADR Manager and the mediator, whether mediation should be terminated by either party, for example, where there is unreasonable delay or other evidence of lack of good faith on the part of either party.

1.4 Executive Director for Headquarters Operations

1.4.1 The Executive Director for HQ Operations shall be responsible for ensuring the effective functioning of the EEO ADR program at the informal stage of the discrimination complaint process and for ensuring appropriate coordination with ODEO at the informal and formal stages. The Executive Director for Headquarters Operations shall:

a. Ensure that the procedures set forth in this HQPR pertaining to EEO ADR at the Center level are carried out;

b. Designate a responsible official (HQ ADR Manager) for the HQ EEO ADR program; and

c. Receive regular reports from the responsible official on the functioning of the Center EEO ADR process.

1.4.2 The Executive Director for HQ Operations will assure that any future modifications to the procedures are submitted to ODEO for concurrence prior to implementation.

1.5 NASA Headquarters Equal Opportunity (EO) Director

1.5.1 The NASA HQ EO Director shall:

a. Ensure the fair and efficient functioning of the informal EEO complaints process in cooperation and coordination with ODEO and the Executive Director for HQ Operations;

b. Where the Executive Director for HQ Operations appoints the HQ EO Director to the role of HQ ADR Manager, the HQ EO Director shall serve as the HQ ADR Manager or shall delegate the day-to-day functions.

c. Manage and direct the informal complaint process and advise employees about all aspects of the EEO process, including ADR; and

d. Identify cases appropriate for mediation in consultation with the HQ ADR Manager, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and the Human Resources Management Division (HRMD). In a matter arising in the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the HQ ADR Manager will consult with the Counsel to the Inspector General and the OIG Human Resources Officer.

1.6 NASA Headquarters ADR Manager

1.6.1 The HQ ADR Manager shall:

a. Work closely with HQ management to administer the HQ EEO ADR process, including carrying out specific roles and responsibilities pertaining to EEO ADR at the informal and formal stages of the EEO complaints process as identified in NPR 3713.2, Chapters 2, 3, and 4;

b. Identify cases appropriate for mediation in consultation with the HQ EO Director, HQ EEO ADR Manager, the OGC and/or the HRMD, or the Counsel to the Inspector General and the OIG Human Resources Officer (if in a matter arising in the OIG);

c. Arrange for mediation at the informal stage of the process, consistent with this HQPR 3371.3A, Chapter 3;

d. Develop EEO ADR procedures for the informal stage of the discrimination complaint process that are consistent with Agency-wide EEO ADR policy, as well as the needs of HQ;

e. Develop or utilize existing NASA communications materials to promote and advocate the use of the EEO ADR process to resolve disputes;

f. Ensure that HQ managers, supervisors, and employees, as necessary, are appropriately trained on the Agency and HQ EEO ADR procedures, including periodic training in ADR for HQ employees likely to be involved in EEO ADR or dispute-related activities (such as the HQ EEO personnel, Human Resources personnel, General Counsel personnel, Inspector General personnel, and managers who may serve as management or resolving officials in disputes);

g. Coordinate with the Complaints Management Division, ODEO in its administration of the EEO ADR process at the formal stage of the discrimination complaints process (see NPR, Chapters 3 and 4);

h. Report annual progress on the HQ EEO ADR process to the AA for ODEO in accordance with Preface P.5 of NPR 3713.2, Verification/Measurement;

i. Utilize forms contained in Appendix D to ensure consistency in the ADR process;

j. Consult with the OGC and/or the HRMD, or the Counsel to the Inspector General and the OIG Human Resources Officer (if in a matter arising in the OIG), as necessary to identify the appropriate management representative and settlement official; identify cases appropriate for mediation; and explore options dealing with potential or actual disputes of an individual or organizational nature; and

k. Assure that the OGC and HRMD, or the Counsel to the Inspector General and the OIG Human Resources Officer (if in a matter arising in the OIG) review all settlement agreements in a reasonable amount of time.

1.7 Management Representative

1.7.1 The Management representative shall be selected by the Executive Director for HQ Operations or his/her designee. In a matter arising in the OIG, the Management representative shall be selected by the Inspector General or his/her designee.

1.7.2 The Management representative shall have authority and responsibility to negotiate in good faith and shall have the option of discontinuing ADR after consultation with or on behalf of management, if the representative determines that no option for resolution acceptable to NASA can be developed.

1.7.3 The Management representative shall be, or shall have immediate access to, a person delegated with authority to approve or enter into a settlement agreement binding on the Center and Agency (see also "Settlement Official," Section 1.8, below). Hence, the Management representative and the Settlement Official may be the same individual. However, no responsible management official or agency official directly involved in the case shall serve as the person with settlement authority, i.e., where the responsible management official is serving as the Management representative he/she shall not also serve as the Settlement Official.

1.7.4 In addition, where the aggrieved individual or Complainant so requests, the Management representative shall not be the responsible management official, i.e., the Agency official who has been identified as allegedly being responsible for the matters raised by the aggrieved individual (informal stage) or Complainant (formal stage).

1.8 Settlement Official

1.8.1 The HQ Settlement Official shall be a senior Headquarters representative who has been delegated authority to settle the complaint and shall be responsible for signing mediation agreements that are binding on behalf of NASA HQ. In a matter arising in the OIG, authority is delegated to the Inspector General, in consultation with the Office of the Administrator. If the Inspector General has a conflict of interest, then the authority is retained within the Office of the Administrator.

1.8.2 While the Settlement Official may be the Management representative, consistent with Section 1.7.4 above, no responsible management official or Agency official directly involved in the case shall serve as the person with settlement authority. This authority may be delegated when appropriate, i.e. in the case of a conflict of interest. When deemed necessary the Associate Administrator for Institutions and Management shall appoint a Settlement Official in advance of mediation. The Settlement Official shall not be the HQ EO Director.

1.9 Neutral/Mediator

1.9.1 The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act (ADRA) of 1996 defines a neutral as "an individual who, with respect to an issue in controversy, functions specifically to aid the parties in resolving the controversy." (For purposes of this HQPR, the terms "neutral" and "mediator" are synonymous).

1.9.2 As a matter of policy, it is highly encouraged that the Agency ADR Program Manager or Center EEO ADR Managers obtain neutrals from sources external to the Center where the dispute arose, e.g., Shared Neutral Program, other agencies, contract mediators, or similar sources. However, EEO personnel shall not serve as neutrals/mediators.

1.9.3 Each neutral used by NASA shall have been thoroughly trained and shall be well experienced. See EEOC MD-110, Section IV (B), which discusses qualifications of neutrals. Upon request, parties shall be provided with information on the neutral that HQ selects for services in a given matter, and parties shall have the right to request a different neutral, for example, where there is a concern raised regarding conflict of interest.


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