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§ 580. Arbitration awards
- (1) Unless the agency provides otherwise by rule, the award in an
arbitration proceeding under this subchapter shall include a brief, informal
discussion of the factual and legal basis for the award, but formal findings of
fact or conclusions of law shall not be required.
- (2) The prevailing parties shall file the award with all relevant
agencies, along with proof of service on all parties.
- (b) The award in an arbitration proceeding shall become final 30 days
after it is served on all parties. Any agency that is a party to the proceeding
may extend this 30-day period for an additional 30-day period by serving a
notice of such extension on all other parties before the end of the first
- (c) The head of any agency that is a party to an arbitration proceeding
conducted under this subchapter is authorized to terminate the arbitration
proceeding or vacate any award issued pursuant to the proceeding before the
award becomes final by serving on all other parties a written notice to that
effect, in which case the award shall be null and void. Notice shall be
provided to all parties to the arbitration proceeding of any request by a
party, nonparty participant or other person that the agency head terminate the
arbitration proceeding or vacate the award. An employee or agent engaged in the
performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for an agency may not, in
that or a factually related case, advise in a decision under this subsection
to terminate an arbitration proceeding or to vacate an arbitral award, except
as witness or counsel in public proceedings.
- (d) A final award is binding on the parties to the arbitration
proceeding, and may be enforced pursuant to sections 9 through 13 of title 9.
No action brought to enforce such an award shall be dismissed nor shall relief
therein be denied on the grounds that it is against the United States or that
the United States is an indispensable party.
- (e) An award entered under this subchapter in an arbitration proceeding
may not serve as an estoppel in any other proceeding for any issue that was
resolved in the proceeding. Such an award also may not be used as precedent or
otherwise be considered in any factually unrelated proceeding, whether
conducted under this subchapter, by an agency, or in a court, or in any other
- (f) An arbitral award that is vacated under subsection (c) shall not be
admissible in any proceeding relating to the issues in controversy with respect
to which the award was made.
- (g) If an agency head vacates an award under subsection (c), a party to
the arbitration (other than the United States) may within 30 days of such
action petition the agency head for an award of fees and other expenses (as
defined in section 504(b)(1)(A) of this title) incurred in connection with the
arbitration proceeding. The agency head shall award the petitioning party those
fees and expenses that would not have been incurred in the absence of such
arbitration proceeding, unless the agency head or his or her designee finds
that special circumstances make such an award unjust. The procedures for
reviewing applications for awards shall, where appropriate, be consistent with
those set forth in subsection (a)(2) and (3) of section 504 of this title. Such
fees and expenses shall be paid from the funds of the agency that vacated the