Initial protest procedures.
(a) If, as part of its initial protest filing, the protester requests a suspension of procurement activities or contractor performance in whole or in part, in accordance with § 17.15(d), the Product Team shall submit a response to the request to the ODRA by no later than the close of business on the date of the initial scheduling conference or on such other date as is established by the ODRA. Copies of the response shall be furnished to the protester and any intervenor(s) so as to be received within the same timeframe. The protester and any intervenor(s) shall have the opportunity of providing additional comments on the response within two (2) business days of receiving it. Based on its review of such submissions, the ODRA, in its discretion, may—
(1) Decline the suspension request; or
(2) Recommend such suspension to the Administrator or the Administrator's designee. The ODRA also may impose a temporary suspension of no more than ten (10) business days, where it is recommending that the Administrator impose a suspension.
(b) Within five (5) business days of the filing of a protest, or as soon thereafter as practicable, the ODRA shall convene an initial status conference for purposes of:
(1) Reviewing the ODRA's ADR and adjudication procedures and establishing a preliminary schedule;
(2) Identifying legal or other preliminary or potentially dispositive issues and answering the parties' questions regarding the ODRA process;
(3) Dealing with issues related to protected information and the issuance of any needed protective order;
(4) Encouraging the parties to consider using ADR;
(5) Appointing a DRO as a potential ADR neutral to assist the parties in considering ADR options and developing an ADR agreement; and
(6) For any other reason deemed appropriate by the DRO or by the ODRA.
(c) The Product Team and protester will have five (5) business days from the date of the initial status conference to decide whether they will attempt to use an ADR process in the case. With the agreement of the ODRA, ADR may be used concurrently with the adjudication of a protest. See § 17.37(e).
(d) If the Product Team and protester elect to use ADR proceedings to resolve the protest, they will agree upon the neutral to conduct the ADR proceedings (either an ODRA DRO or a compensated neutral of their own choosing) pursuant to § 17.37, and shall execute and file with the ODRA a written ADR agreement. Agreement of any intervenor(s) to the use of ADR or the resolution of a dispute through ADR shall not be required.
(e) If the Product Team or protester indicate that ADR proceedings will not be used, or if ADR is not successful in resolving the entire protest, the ODRA Director upon being informed of the situation, will schedule an adjudication of the protest.