It is the Department of State's policy to maximize competition in contracting under applicable procurement regulations (Federal Acquisition Regulations, etc.). Advertising and competition are mandated by these regulations. Any questions regarding the competition in contracting practices of the Department should be directed to:
Ms. Jan Visintainer, Competition Advocate/Ombudsman
Office of the Procurement Executive
A/OPE, SA-27, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22209
Ms. Jan Visintainer, Competition Advocate/ Ombudsman (703) 516-1693
Alternative Disputes Resolution The Administrative Dispute Resolution Act of 1990 and the National Performance Review of 1993 encouraged agencies to use Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) techniques in resolving disputes. Executive Order 12979, Agency Procurement Protest, signed October 26, 1995, requires that agency heads establish administrative procedures for resolving bid protests at the agency level ?as an alternative? to outside protest forums.
Formal litigation of these matters is a long and costly process that often times establishes an adversarial relationship between the Government and the private sector. ADR includes a wide range of resolution techniques, tends to be less costly and is far more efficient than litigation. It also keeps resolution of the matter within the control of the disputants. In choosing the ADR method, the parties establish the rules of engagement, determine who will be the decision makers, define the issue and otherwise control the entire process.
Some of the ADR techniques include mini-trials, mediation, fact finding, and arbitration. Resolution is approached from a ?partnership? standpoint with a common goal to preserve the business relationship and avoid the costs and delays so often experienced in formal litigation. The Department encourages the use of ADR whenever possible.
Requests for DOS Contract Information Copies of current contracts or other Department of State documents may be requested through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The Department regulations applicable to FOIA requests are in Volume 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 171. In general, FOIA requests can be electronically or in writing. Written request must contain enough information about the documents to permit location with a reasonable amount of effort. Requesters must state their agreement to pay any applicable processing costs in their request letter (See 22 C.F.R. ?171.13-15). For more information, please visit the Department's FOIA website.