Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Agricultural Marketing Service: Contract Specialist- Washington, D.C.

Agricultural Marketing Service 

Job Title:Contract Specialist
Department:Department Of Agriculture
Agency:Agricultural Marketing Service
Job Announcement Number:24OA-AMS-MA-2014-0134


$52,146.00 to $82,019.00 / Per Year


Monday, October 6, 2014 to Tuesday, October 14, 2014




Full-Time - Permanent




2 vacancies - Washington DC, DC View Map


US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.


Public Trust - Background Investigation




Current and former Federal employees, disabled Veterans, candidates with 3 or more years of active duty military service, and and candidates eligible for special hiring authorities may also apply to Merit Promotion announcement 6OA-AMS-MA-2014-0101 at the GS-07/09 and/or 11 grade level(s).

The AMS Commodity Procurement Staff is responsible for coordinating Agency-wide procurement activities of fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, dry beans, nuts, meat, meat products, fish, fish products, and poultry and poultry products for distribution and use in child nutrition and other domestic nutrition programs, including those for the elderly and needy families.The Branch conducts contracting and program analysis work for use in the formulation and execution of programs assigned to the Division. all of which is related to the procurement of agricultural products and the overall AMS mission to facilitate markets.  The Division also coordinates all Agency activities related to the Web-Based Supply Chain Management system (WBSCM), which is the mission-critical system that USDA relies on to manage its commodity procurement operations, including purchase, storage, and delivery to customers.

The incumbent serves as a contract specialist responsible for all pre-award and post-award functions including initiation, solicitation, recommendation of award, contract administration, payment, and contract closeout for the procurement of commodities used in USDA food nutrition assistance programs.


  • Occasional Travel
  • Ocassional Travel may be required


  • No


  • US Citizenship is required.
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959.
  • Subject to satisfactory completion of one year probationary period.


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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

The duties may include, but are not limited to:
  • Assists in the planning and development of purchase programs and procedures for carrying out the purchasing of commodity products. 
  • Reviews and analyzes relevant production and price data, and makes recommendations concerning the need for surplus removal purchase programs.
  • Responsible for preparing accurate announcements, invitations to bid, requests for information, requests for proposals, and related contractual documents in the administration of contracts. 
  • Performs detailed analysis of bids received using processes and procedures designed to ensure the most advantageous awards for USDA nutrition assistance programs.  
  • Reviews, analyzes, and makes recommendations concerning various factors affecting ongoing purchase operations, including changes in supply and demand conditions for commodities purchased. 
  • Ensures that the provisions of Sections 8 and 15 of the Small Business Act, as amended by PL 95-507 and the provisions of Executive Order 12138 are implemented in the procurement activities of the Branch. 
  • Conducts contract administration duties, including the analysis and resolution of contractor-requested waivers of requirements, recipient-requested destination changes, shipment issues, delivery issues, and other administrative duties.
  • Performs administrative tasks such as securing missing facts, forms, receipts, or signatures and perform administrative tasks such as filing.  Must be accurate in making and verifying arithmetical computations and adjustments, and in transcribing facts and figures on a variety of supporting documents and forms.


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Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including the following specialized experience and/or education, as identified by grade level.
BASIC REQUIREMENT: A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in any field ORat least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.
FOR THE GS-09 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-07 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
  • Reviews requisitions and determines appropriate method of procurement citing the authority.
  • Develops procurement plans by reviewing previous history, market conditions, and specifications or technical data packages.
  • Prepares and issues solicitation documents. Selects appropriate clauses, ensures clear and complete specifications including packing and delivery requirements or other stipulations, and serves as a central point of contact on assigned procurements to respond to inquiries.
  • Experience performing detailed analysis of bids and proposals received
OR Two full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or masters or equivalent graduate degree or LL.B. or J.D. in one or a combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management. (Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.)
FOR THE GS-11 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-09 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
  • Experience with Federal Acquisition Regulations relative to formally advertised competitive bids
  • Experience with a multiple Federal food nutrition assistance program to coordinate activity with other Agencies involved in the program.
  • Experience with small business contracted bid and award documents.
  • Commercial and industrial business practices.
  • Experience working with supply and market conditions to evaluate bid analysis results and prepare purchase recommendations.
OR Three full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in one or a combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management. (Equivalent combinations of education and experience are qualifying for this grade level.)
TRANSCRIPTS are required if:
  • This position requires specific coursework or a degree in a specific field to be basically qualified
  • You are qualifying for the position based on education.
  • You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
For more information on submitting transcripts, click: Transcripts
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-9/11 GRADE LEVELS: Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Administrative and Management Positions

Special Conditions:
  • As a condition of employment, satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of a background investigation and/or fingerprint check may be required for this position.
  • This position is designated a public trust position and is subject to satisfactory completion and favorable adjudication of initial background investigation and reinvestigation as a condition of employment.
  • Position may be eligible for telework.
  • Employee's work is generally sedentary. However, some walking, standing, bending, and carrying of light items may be necessary. Travel may occur to gain knowledge and understanding, or to coordinate and complete assigned projects.
  • Employee's work is normally performed in an office setting. However, visits to contractor's plants or facilities may be required to observe contract production. Additionally, travel to industry, recipient, or other conferences may be necessary in order to gain an understanding of overall program mission and goals. Office work requires extensive use of computer in analyzing bids, preparing award documents, troubleshooting, and miscellaneous reports.


Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants’ quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (or competencies):
  • Professional Development
  • Contracting Standards, Laws and Regulations
  • Acquisition Planning and Procurement Management
  • Pre-Award Contract Work
  • Price/Cost Analysis
  • Post-Award Contract Work
  • Contracting / Procurement Advice and Guidance, Including Policy
  • Communication
The questionnaire will assess your qualifications for the job, and will be used to identify the best qualified applicants to be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interviews. Your ratings in this Assessment Questionnaire are subject to evaluation and verification based on the documents and references you submit.

Later steps in the selection process are specifically designed to verify your ratings. Attempts to falsify information; inflate your qualifications or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may be grounds to adjust your rating or to not select you. Errors, omissions or providing inaccurate information on federal documents may affect your eligibility. If selected providing inaccurate information on federal documents could also be grounds for dismissing you from the position/agency. Please follow all instructions carefully.

To view the application form, visit:


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  • Career Transition Assistance Plan(CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, provide proof of eligibility to include your most recent performance appraisal, SF-50 showing the full performance level or career ladder of your current or previous position, and proof of eligibility such as a RIF separation notice or letter from OPM/your agency. CTAP/ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified if achieving a rating of 85 or above. Information about CTAP/ICTAP eligibility is at: OPM's Career Transition Resources website.
  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.
  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form 1-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS 'E-VERIFY' system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.


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Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.
  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement. 
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.
Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded documents must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


You must submit a complete Application Package, prior to 11:59, ET, on the closing date of this announcement. The following documents must be submitted for your application package to be considered complete. It is your responsibility to ensure all required documents are received within the required timeframes. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, system failure or downtime, etc. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) job information for which you are applying; 2) personal information; 3) education; 4) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 5) supervisors phone number and e-mail address for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 6) other qualifications.
  • College Transcripts if education is required for meeting basic qualifications and/or used as a substitute for specialized experience. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if selected, an official college transcript will be required prior to entering on duty. All education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university. Foreign education must be evaluated by an approved organization. For additional information, refer to the U.S. Department of Education web site at All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
  • DD-214 (Member 4 Copy) if claiming Veterans’ Preference. Veterans claiming 10 point preference must also submit a VA Letter and an SF-15 Application for 10-point Veteran Preference. Current active duty members must submit a certification that they are expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted.
  • Other required documents may include:
    • CTAP/ICTAP Required Documentation Reduction-In-Force: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, or Notice of Proposed Removal; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position you will be separated from.
    • Worker's Compensation Separation: Agency certification of inability to place employee AND Notification of Separation OR Separation SF-50.
    • Disability Annuity Termination: Notification from OPM of disability annuity termination AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held. Military Reserve or National Guard Technician Special Disability Retirement Annuity under 5 U.S.C. 8337(h) or 8456: Certification of special disability retirement annuity from a military department or National Guard Bureau AND Separation SF-50 of the last position held.
NOTE: If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the Human Resources Office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing a previous submission, you must upload both the old document and the new document. Please verify that documents you are uploading from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system as there is a limitation to the number of documents that can be transferred. However, once in the Agency's staffing system, you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).


Human Resources
Phone: 612-336-3345
Fax: 612-336-3560
Agency Information:
100 N. 6th Street, Butler Sq Bldg, Suite 510C
Minneapolis, MN,
United States
Fax: 612-336-3560


If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.