2006 ADR Survey in the Australian ICT Industry

Knowledge of Dispute Resolution Techniques

Survey Objectives

Questions in this section were intended to provide an understanding of the respondent’s knowledge of the various ADR techniques. Understanding the level of knowledge and awareness indicates the level of education that may be required.

Key Findings

According to the survey, over half of the respondents do not have formal dispute avoidance procedures in place.

There are many possible reasons for this, the most likely being:

    Lack of understanding or familiarity with the available processes;
    Lack of experience and training in the various techniques; and,
    Legal advice being offered.

The survey explored these hypotheses, with a view to determining the most appropriate education and awareness campaigns to address these matters.

There were few surprises in the respondents’ levels of familiarity with dispute avoidance and resolution procedures.

Familiarity

There was a lack of familiarity with Dispute Review Boards, which are more common in the construction industry, and to a lesser extent with Project Governance. This indicates that attention has not yet turned to proactive dispute avoidance processes in the ICT industry. The respondents were quite familiar with the more common ADR processes such as Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration. (Figure 7)

Training

It was expected that the majority of the respondents had not been trained in litigation or arbitration as these more formal techniques generally involve the use of lawyers or barristers.

However, there were a large number trained in ADR techniques, the most popular being Mediation. This may also reflect the fact that a significant number of respondents belong to the ADR industry. (Figure 8)

There was a clear lack of training in expert determination, despite the fact that many government contracts specify expert determination as the primary ADR technique.

Very few of the respondents had training in dispute review boards. This pro active technique is more popular in the building and construction industry. It has application in the ICT industry and should be the subject of awareness and education programmes.

Notwithstanding the above, there is a clear message here that the majority of members of the ICT industry are not adequately trained in Dispute Resolution techniques.

This result was, to certain extent, expected. The respondents were then asked whether they would attend training courses or seminars.

There was a high level of interest in training; 85% expressed an interest in attending a conference or seminar; and, 64% said they would attend themselves. Other respondents stated that they would recommend their staff to attend. (Figure 9)

These results indicate a high interest in such training and suggest that the sponsoring organisations should provide courses and seminars.

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