USPSC Press Advisor (Multiple Positions)

USPSC Press Advisor (Multiple Positions)

USPSC Press Advisor (Multiple Positions)

USPSC Press Advisor (Multiple Positions)

Published
May 22, 2024
Location
Washington, D.C.
Position type
Experience (minimum)
2-5 Years
Education (minimum)
High School
Travel required?
Not specified
Base salary (minimum)
$110,000 - 120,000

Description

SOLICITATION NUMBER: 7200AA24R00055
ISSUANCE DATE: May 8, 2024
CLOSING DATE AND TIME: October 21, 2024, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Service Contractor (USPSC) Press Advisor - Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA)

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.

Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1 of this solicitation. Incomplete or unsigned offers will not be considered. Offerors should retain copies of all offer materials for their records.

USAID will evaluate all offerors based on stated evaluation criteria. USAID encourages all individuals, including those from disadvantaged and under-represented groups, to respond to the solicitation.

This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in Attachment 1.

Sincerely,
Juan E. Proaño
Senior Contracting Officer
Office of Acquisition & Assistance
(M/OAA/BHA-CPS/PSC)

I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. SOLICITATION NO.: 7200AA24R00055
2. ISSUANCE DATE: May 8, 2024
3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: October 21, 2024, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
This solicitation is open and continuous until October 21, 2024. The following are the closing dates for each review period:

Round One: June 21, 2024, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
Round Two: August 21, 2024, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
Final Round: October 21, 2024, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

Offerors not selected during a previous review period must reapply in order to be considered for positions available in subsequent review periods. A review period may be canceled at the Contracting Officer’s discretion.

4. POINT OF CONTACT: G3PC Recruitment Team, BHA.G3PCRecruitment@usaid.gov
5. POSITION TITLE: Press Advisor (Multiple Positions)
6. MARKET VALUE: $117,962 - $153,354 equivalent to GS-13 - eligible for Locality Pay.
Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value and will include Locality Pay for domestic USPSCs based on the location of the Official USAID Worksite, or the approved alternative worksite if approved for remote work. USPSCs performing overseas are not entitled to Locality Pay.
7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: USAID/Washington, DC - Relocation expenses will not be reimbursed for U.S.-based positions.
8. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Five (5) years, tentatively 145 day estimated start date from closing
9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: U.S. Citizens Only
10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Secret
If there is a change in circumstances requiring access to National Security information classified at the Top-Secret level, the offeror may be asked to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.
11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES
GENERAL STATEMENT OF PURPOSE OF THE CONTRACT
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) works to save lives, alleviate human suffering, and reduce the impact of disasters by helping people in need become more self-reliant. BHA is responsible for planning, coordinating, developing, achieving, monitoring, and evaluating international humanitarian assistance falling into two conceptual areas: 1) Humanitarian Response during emergencies and 2) Early Recovery, Risk Reduction, and Resilience activities to address longer-term recovery after emergencies. You can learn more about BHA on our website.

The Office of Global Policy, Partnerships, Programs, and Communication (G3PC) directs the Bureau’s leadership in global humanitarian policy, showcases BHA’s life-saving work through strategic communication and information, and manages collaboration with external stakeholders, including public and private partners, international and multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations and academic institutions, and the U.S. interagency. The office is organized into seven divisions: Humanitarian Policy and International Systems; Humanitarian Multilateral; Humanitarian Organizations and Partnerships; Private Sector Engagement, Diaspora, and Innovation; Global Capacity and Leadership Development; U.S. Engagement, Strategy, and Programs; and Strategic Communications and Humanitarian Information.

BHA’s DIVERSITY PHILOSOPHY
Your Uniqueness is Welcome Here!

It takes talented people with unique experiences to provide the best humanitarian aid possible. We are committed to having a workforce that reflects the global communities we serve. We strive to create an inclusive workplace, where everyone brings their authentic selves to work. We invite you to join us in providing humanitarian assistance to save lives and alleviate the suffering around the world.

STATEMENT OF DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED

As a member of the Press Team, the Press Advisor will work closely with other teams in BHA’s Strategic Communications and Humanitarian Information Division (SCHI-D) and staff across BHA. The Press Team is responsible for handling all BHA media engagement and leads on public messaging about our work, working in coordination with USAID’s Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) to develop and implement strategies to increase awareness and appreciation for BHA and partner activities with the media. The team produces communications products such as talking points, press releases, funding announcements, and other external messaging to demonstrate BHA leadership in its humanitarian activities.

Response and Crisis Communications

● During BHA disaster responses, lead BHA’s communications efforts in coordination with the Press Team Leader to provide communications guidance and support to BHA staff and regional teams.
● Generate talking points and press releases, field media requests, and engage in proactive press outreach.
● Review and edit press releases, talking points, press guidance, and other materials to ensure BHA’s activities are accurately reported.
● Work closely with BHA regional teams and relevant staff to best tell BHA’s story through the production of external communications products, including social media, blogs, infographics, talking points, press releases, and other materials.
o Draft social media posts, as needed, working in close coordination with relevant BHA staff. Review social media posts of team members.
o Work with BHA staff and team members to support the social media for BHA’s Assistant to the Administrator and provide social media content for main USAID and USAID Administrator handles, as needed.
● Work closely with LPA to pitch BHA stories to the media, in coordination with relevant BHA staff. Draft talking points for interviews and prepare BHA staff or other USAID principals for media question and answer sessions.
● Coordinate closely with LPA, USAID regional bureaus, and other U.S. Government (USG) entities to ensure that BHA’s activities and messages are included in key interagency products—including Department of State and Department of Defense Press Guidance—and accurately communicated to the public and other key stakeholders in a timely manner.

Strategic Communications

● Communicate BHA’s lead role in humanitarian assistance in a way that highlights the impact of our work, the resources committed, and our dedication to increasing humanitarian awareness. Provide strategic messaging guidance to BHA, other parts of USAID, and the interagency to shape the narrative around BHA’s work.
● Identify messaging gaps and potential issues, anticipate communications needs, and develop solutions to proactively convey BHA’s activities. Provide guidance on what information should be disseminated to which audiences.
● Develop and implement communications plans that reflect changing messaging priorities and highlight BHA’s impact, expertise, and value. Identity key outreach opportunities to advance strategic BHA messages. Feed in appropriate BHA messaging and content for relevant USAID agency-wide campaigns.
● Develop and implement new ways to communicate BHA’s investments in early recovery, risk reduction, and resilience, which are activities designed to strengthen the capacities of vulnerable communities to anticipate, withstand, recover from, and adapt to shocks and stresses.
● Forge and strengthen communications partnerships with partners, USG entities, and key stakeholders to obtain information and content on how BHA’s programs are making a difference on the ground and use materials to communicate BHA’s life-saving efforts.
● Translate complex responses and issues into messaging that is relatable and accessible for most audiences. Draft or tailor messages and communications products using clear and concise language, avoiding technical jargon.
● Provide editorial input for materials generated by the Strategic Communications and Humanitarian Information Division and BHA staff. Engage with the Content and Digital Communications Team to conceptualize multi-media content to tell BHA’s story across various platforms.
● Increase regular interaction with other interagency communications stakeholders to solidify BHA’s standing as the humanitarian messaging lead and obtain more visibility for BHA’s activities.
● Strategically share best communications practices with key stakeholders (BHA staff, other parts of USAID, interagency, BHA partners) and engage in continuous learning and improvement of our own work and products.
● Mentor and assist in the development of other Press Team members and Strategic Communications and Humanitarian Information Division staff on media engagement and strategic messaging.

Other Duties

● Consistently model behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to fostering a non-hostile work environment free of discrimination, bias, unfairness, exclusion, offensive behaviors, and harassment of any kind.
● Contribute to a collaborative, respectful, and professional work environment by demonstrating partnership and teamwork to accomplish team, office, and Bureau objectives.
● Participate in G3PC office-wide efforts to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility, including those related to Bureau programs, partners, staffing, professional development, and other key areas.
● This position is expected to qualify, train for and routinely serve on disaster/humanitarian responses in Washington DC or in the disaster area for 4 to 6 weeks (or more) intervals. These can either be Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) and/or Response Management Teams (RMTs). DARTs are deployed to the field in response to disasters and operate in the field, providing staff an opportunity to deploy overseas for an extended period of time (e.g. 6-8 weeks). RMTs are based in Washington, DC and provide services to support DARTs, such as coordination and external engagement, communications, planning, logistics, travel coordination, or other similar duties (depending on the RMT role).
● As needed, may serve on temporary short-term assignments (“detail”) on other teams within the office or bureau to meet operational needs during staff shortages. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with existing duties and responsibilities and will be directly related to the position’s scope of work.
● As needed, staff is expected to support BHA’s hiring efforts and serve on PSC hiring committees. Training will be provided.
● The PSC may be expected to obtain an Agreement Officer's Representative (AOR) or Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) certification. The AOR/COR oversees agreements and/or contracts. This includes but is not limited to reviewing invoices, approvals, program/project deliverables (i.e. work plans, annual reports, month status reports), travel requests, key personnel requests, financial/budget reports, contractor performance evaluations, and compliance. More information about the AOR/COR responsibilities and related requirements can be found in the COR designation letter and the AOR designation letter. In the event that this role requires an AOR/COR certification, mandatory training will be provided.
● The Press Advisor does not have supervisory responsibilities; however, the PSC may serve in an acting leadership role within the bureau in order to meet short-term staffing needs, not to exceed 120 days in a 12-month contract year.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP

The USPSC will take direction from and will report to the Press Team Leader with guidance from the SCHI Division Chief, or their designee.

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS

The supervisor sets overall objectives. USPSC and supervisor together develop deadlines, projects, and work to be done. The USPSC independently plans, designs, and carries out projects, studies, and programs. Completed work is reviewed only from an overall standpoint in terms of feasibility, compatibility with other work, or effectiveness in meeting requirements, or expected results. Technical problems are generally resolved without reference to supervisors.

12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work requested is primarily sedentary and does not involve undue physical demands. Work is primarily performed in an office setting.

During deployment on Disaster Assistance Response Teams (if required), and during site visits, there may be some additional physical exertion including long periods of standing, walking over rough terrain, or carrying of moderately heavy items (less than 50 pounds). During deployment on DARTs (if required), and during site visits, the work may additionally involve special safety and/or security precautions, wearing of protective equipment, and exposure to severe weather conditions.

II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION - (Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

A High School Diploma or its equivalent with at least nine (9) years of experience in communications, public outreach, journalism, media relations, international relations, or political science.
OR
A Bachelor’s degree in any discipline with at least five (5) years of experience in communications, public outreach, journalism, media relations, international relations, or political science.
OR
A Master’s degree in any discipline with at least three (3) years of experience in communications, public outreach, journalism, media relations, international relations, or political science.
AND
Specialized Experience:
● Experience working with an organization through a high-visibility communications crisis or breaking-news event; and
● Experience crafting messaging in various formats, e.g. press releases, talking points, blogs, social media; and
● Experience providing messaging guidance to high-level principals and pitching media stories.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.

The technical evaluation committee may conduct reference checks, including references from individuals who have not been specifically identified by the offeror, and may do so before or after a candidate is interviewed.

SELECTION FACTORS
(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)
● Offeror is a U.S. Citizen.
● Complete resume submitted. See section IV for resume requirements. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
● USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be signed. Electronic signatures may be accepted.
● Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret clearance. If there is a change in circumstances requiring access to National Security information classified at the Top-Secret level, the offeror may be asked to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID. Failure to do so may result in the withdrawal of an offer or removal.
● Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance and maintain it throughout the life of the contract. More information on medical clearance classifications can be found in 16 FAM 211.2 Clearance Classifications or the Department of State webpage on medical clearances (https://www.state.gov/popular-topics-medical-clearances/#Clearance).
● Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
● Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

OFFEROR RATING SYSTEM
The offeror rating system factors are used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified offerors in comparison to other offerors. Offerors must demonstrate the rating factors outlined below within their resume, as they are evaluated strictly by the information provided. The evaluation of writing tests will also take into consideration the quality of written responses. Aspects of written responses including, but not limited to typos, grammatical errors, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences will be factored into the evaluation process. The rating factors are as follows:

Specialized Experience (20 points)
Interview Performance (35 points)
Timed Writing Test (35 points) - The offeror will be required to submit a writing sample to USAID. If the offeror doesn’t meet all of the submission instructions, a score of zero (0) will be designated for this portion of the evaluation.
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks (10 points) - Offerors must provide their references to BHA upon request no later than seven (7) days from the initial request. Failure to meet this requirement will result in the offeror being removed from consideration for this solicitation. In addition, the Agency has the right to seek any additional feedback on the offeror as needed.
Total Possible Points: 100

BASIS OF RATING: Offerors who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated in accordance with the Offeror Rating System. Those offerors determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.

Offerors are required to address each factor of the Offeror Rating System in their resume, describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received as it pertains to each factor. Be sure to include your name and the announcement number at the top of each additional page. Failure to address the selection factors and/or Offeror Rating System factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.

The most qualified offerors may be interviewed and required to provide a writing sample. BHA will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews.

Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for offerors being considered for selection.

Note: Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an offeror. BHA reserves the right to select additional offerors if vacancies become available during the future phase of the selection process.

IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER

1. Eligible Offerors are required to complete and submit the offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals,” available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.
2. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in Section I.
3. Offeror submissions must clearly reference the Solicitation number and GS level on all offeror submitted documents.
4. Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your offer, your resume must include:
(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Dates (month/year) and locations for all field experience must also be detailed. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.
(c) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments. Failure to identify an academic discipline will result in disqualification.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (SAM.gov, BHA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).
Additional documents submitted will not be accepted.

By submitting your offer materials, you certify that all of the information on and attached to the offer is true, correct, complete, and made in good faith. You agree to allow all information on and attached to the offer to be investigated. False or fraudulent information on or attached to your offer may result in you being eliminated from consideration for this position, or being terminated after award, and may be punishable by fine or imprisonment.

To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, please reference the solicitation number on your offer, and as the subject line in any email.

5. NOTE: If the full security application package is not submitted within 30 days after the Office of Security determines eligibility, the offer may be rescinded. If a Secret security clearance is not obtained within nine months after offer acceptance, the offer may be rescinded. If Top Secret is required, and clearance is not obtained within nine months after award, USAID may terminate the contract at the convenience of the government. If Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI) access is not obtained within nine months after Top Secret clearance is granted, USAID may terminate the contract at the convenience of the government.

6. NOTE: If the full medical clearance package is not submitted within two months after offer acceptance, the offer may be rescinded. If a Department of State medical clearance is not obtained; the offer may be rescinded.

7. NOTE REGARDING GOVERNMENT OBLIGATIONS FOR THIS SOLICITATION: This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

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