Page:United States Statutes at Large Volume 108 Part 3.djvu/467

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PUBLIC LAW 103-325—SEPT. 23, 1994 108 STAT. 2219 and the National Credit Union Administration Board shall provide public notice and opportunity for comment on proposed guidelines for the establishment of an appellate process under this section. (d) AGENCY OMBUDSMAN.— (1) ESTABLISHMENT REQUIRED.—Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each Federal banking agency and the National Credit Union Administration Board shall appoint an ombudsman. (2) DUTIES OF OMBUDSMAN. — The ombudsman appointed in accordance with paragraph (1) for any agency shall— (A) act as a liaison between the agency and any affected person with respect to any problem such party may have in dealing with the agency resulting from the regulatory activities of the agency; and (B) assure that safeguards exist to encourage complainants to come forward and preserve confidentiality. (e) ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION PILOT PROGRAM.— (1) IN GENERAL.— Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, each Federal banking agency and the National Credit Union Administration Board shall develop and implement a pilot program for using alternative means of dispute resolution of issues in controversy (hereafter in this section referred to as the "alternative dispute resolution program") that is consistent with the requirements of subchapter IV of chapter 5 of title 5, United States Code, if the parties to the dispute, including the agency, agree to such proceeding. (2) STANDARDS.— P^ alternative dispute resolution pilot program developed under paragraph (1) shall— (A) be fair to all interested parties to a dispute; (B) resolve disputes expeditiously; and (C) be less costly than traditional means of dispute resolution, including litigation. (3) INDEPENDENT EVALUATION. —Not later than 18 months Reports, after the date on which a pilot program is implemented under paragraph (1), the Administrative Conference of the United States shall submit to the Congress a report containing— (A) an evaluation of that pilot program; (B) the extent to which the pilot programs meet the standards established under paragraph (2); (C) the extent to which parties to disputes were offered alternative means of dispute resolution and the frequency with which the parties, including the agencies, accepted or declined to use such means; and (D) any recommendations of the Conference to improve the alternative dispute resolution procedures of the Federal banking agencies and the National Credit Union Administration Board. (4) IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAM. —At any time after completion of the evaluation under paragraph (3)(A), any Federal banking agency and the National Credit Union Administration Board may implement an alternative dispute resolution program throughout the agency, taking into account the results of that evaluation. (5) COORDINATION WITH EXISTING AGENCY ADR PROGRAMS. — (A) EVALUATION REQUIRED. — If any Federal banking agency or the National Credit Union Administration maintains an alternative dispute resolution program as of the