(a)(1) Arbitration may be used as an alternative means of dispute resolution whenever all parties consent. Consent may be obtained either before or after an issue in controversy has arisen. A party may agree to—
(A) submit only certain issues in controversy to arbitration; or
(B) arbitration on the condition that the award must be within a range of possible outcomes.
(2) The arbitration agreement that sets forth the subject matter submitted to the arbitrator shall be in writing. Each such arbitration agreement shall specify a maximum award that may be issued by the arbitrator and may specify other conditions limiting the range of possible outcomes.
(3) An agency may not require any person to consent to arbitration as a condition of entering into a contract or obtaining a benefit.
(b) An officer or employee of an agency shall not offer to use arbitration for the resolution of issues in controversy unless such officer or employee—
(1) would otherwise have authority to enter into a settlement concerning the matter; or
(2) is otherwise specifically authorized by the agency to consent to the use of arbitration.
(c) Prior to using binding arbitration under this subchapter, the head of an agency, in consultation with the Attorney General and after taking into account the factors in section 572(b), shall issue guidance on the appropriate use of binding arbitration and when an officer or employee of the agency has authority to settle an issue in controversy through binding arbitration.
(Added Pub. L. 101–552, §4(b), Nov. 15, 1990, 104 Stat. 2742, §585; renumbered §575, Pub. L. 102–354, §3(b)(2), Aug. 26, 1992, 106 Stat. 944; amended Pub. L. 104–320, §8(c), Oct. 19, 1996, 110 Stat. 3872.)
Section 575 of former Title 5, Executive Departments and Government Officers and Employees, was transferred to section 2259 of Title 7, Agriculture.
A prior section 575 was renumbered section 595 of this title.
1996—Subsec. (a)(2). Pub. L. 104–320, §8(c)(1), (2), substituted "The" for "Any" and inserted at end "Each such arbitration agreement shall specify a maximum award that may be issued by the arbitrator and may specify other conditions limiting the range of possible outcomes."
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 104–320, §8(c)(3), in introductory provisions substituted "shall not offer to use arbitration for the resolution of issues in controversy unless" for "may offer to use arbitration for the resolution of issues in controversy, if", and in par. (1) substituted "would otherwise have authority" for "has authority".
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 104–320, §8(c)(4), added subsec. (c).
1992—Pub. L. 102–354 renumbered section 585 of this title as this section.