If the complaint is accepted, the National Contact Point (NCP) will offer its good offices – or in other words, assistance – to help the parties resolve the issues.
- Good offices process
The good offices stage is supposed to last about six months – but it has often lasted much longer. During the good office stage, NCPs typically offer consensual, non-adversarial dispute resolution procedures.
- NCPs may offer calls and meetings, including one-on-one meetings with each party or joint meetings all together.
- NCPs may also provide mediation, by themselves or through a hired professional mediator.
The good offices stage may result in an agreement between the parties on all or just a few of the claims in the complaint, or it may yield no agreement. At some point, the NCP will conclude the discussion.
- Role of complainants
As a complainant, you should prepare for the good offices stage in a few ways:
- Think about your goals: you may not be able to achieve all of them, so decide which are your priorities.
- Know your limits: make sure you don’t compromise too much during a negotiation, and be ready to leave the discussion if you feel harmed by the process.
- Practice mediation if possible: try to understand the company(ies) goals, weaknesses, and where common interests may be shared.
Complainants often have questions about how much they may communicate about the case during the good offices stage. The general rule for the good offices stage is transparency of process but confidentiality of content. For a discussion on transparency and campaigning, see the page on Other filing considerations.