USPSC Information Officer

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USAID / OFDA
Published
September 5, 2019
Location
San José, Costa Rica
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
2-5 Years
Education (minimum)
Bachelor's
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
$50,000 - 60,000

Description

SOLICITATION NUMBER: 720FDA19B00099

ISSUANCE DATE: September 5, 2019
CLOSING DATE AND TIME: October 17, 2019,
12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Service Contractor (USPSC)

Dear Prospective Offerors:

The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is seeking offers from qualified U.S. citizens to provide personal services as an Information Officer (IO) under a United States Personal Services Contract (USPSC), as described in the solicitation.

Submittals must be in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified. Offerors interested in applying for this position MUST submit the following materials:

1. 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.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (FedBizOpps, OFDA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information should be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration.

2. Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) shown in the solicitation.

3. USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. AID 309-2 is available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.

NOTE REGARDING DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM (DUNS) NUMBERS
AND THE SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT

All USPSCs with a place of performance in the United States are required to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database prior to receiving an award. You will be disqualified if you either fail to comply with this requirement or if your name appears on the excluded parties list. The selectee will be provided with guidance regarding this registration.

NOTE: As of March 28, 2018, all new SAM.gov entity registrations will now require a signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Additional information on the format of the notarized letter and where to submit can be found via the below Federal Service Desk link:

https://www.fsd.gov/fsd-gov/answer.do?sysparm_kbid=d2e67885db0d5f00b3257d321f96194b&
sysparm_search=kb0013183

Offerors can expect to receive a confirmation email when offer materials have been received. Offerors should retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their offers. Your complete resume and the supplemental document addressing the QRFs must be emailed to:

OFDA Recruitment Team
E-Mail Address: recruiter@ofda.gov
Website: www.OFDAjobs.net

Any questions on this solicitation may be directed to OFDA Recruitment Team via the information provided above.

Sincerely,

Renee Newton
Contracting Officer

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 720FDA19B00099

2. ISSUANCE DATE: September 5, 2019

3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: October 17, 2019,
12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

4. POINT OF CONTACT: OFDA Recruitment Team, recruiter@ofda.gov

5. POSITION TITLE: Information Officer

6. MARKET VALUE: $53,805 - $69,951 equivalent to GS-11 (not eligible for locality pay)

Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value and based upon the candidate’s established salary history. Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.

7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two (2) years, with three (3) one-year options

8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: San José, Costa Rica

There may be an initial training program in Washington, D.C. for three months, which will include formal classroom training and on-the-job training; and may include security training. After completion of Washington training, the Information Officer will be assigned to the place of performance.

9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: U.S. Citizens

10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.

11. STATEMENT OF DUTIES

POSITION DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

The Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) is the office within USAID that is responsible for providing emergency non-food humanitarian assistance in response to international crises and disasters. OFDA is part of the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance (DCHA) and is organized into six divisions.

The Africa (AFD) Response Division and the Asia, Latin America, Europe, and Middle East (ALE) Response Division are responsible for the provision of emergency humanitarian assistance through a grants mechanism to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), international organizations including United Nations (UN) agencies and to other partners to ensure the implementation and delivery of this assistance. These divisions also oversee OFDA’s non-response efforts in disaster risk reduction and resilience. AFD and ALE Response Divisions also coordinate with other organizations for the provision of relief supplies and assistance. They devise, coordinate and implement program strategies for a variety of natural and complex disaster situations. Both Divisions encompass groups of operations specialists who provide technical expert capability in assessing the quality and strategic function of disaster response and risk reduction activities. The AFD Response Division is divided into two teams: East and Central Africa (ECA), and Southern, West, and North Africa (SWAN). The ALE Response Division is divided into four teams: East Asia and the Pacific (EAP), Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), and South Asia (SA).

The Operations (OPS) Division develops and manages operations for OFDA’s disaster responses by readying people and systems; projecting U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian capacity quickly into the field; and delivering material and technical assistance. The OPS Division maintains readiness to respond to emergencies through several mechanisms, including managing Urban Search and Rescue Teams, coordinating, staffing, training, and equipping Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs), and Washington-based Response Management Teams (RMTs), and stockpiling emergency relief commodities in key locations around the globe to ensure OFDA’s capacity to execute and coordinate USG humanitarian assistance and response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. The OPS Division provides technical guidance and expertise in Disaster Logistics, Urban Search and Rescue, Operations Center management, activation/readiness, Civil-Military Liaison, and Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive Consequence Management. It also provides overseas support to OFDA offices and personnel and to other sectors necessary to ensure OFDA’s capacity to execute and coordinate USG humanitarian assistance and response to natural disasters and complex emergencies. The OPS Division is divided into four teams: the Disaster Assistance Support Program (DASP), Military Liaison Team (MLT), Operations Support Team (OST), and Overseas Administration Team (OAT).

The Program Support (PS) Division provides operational management support, including general administration, budget and financial services, procurement planning, information technology, human resources management including staff care, and contract and grant administration support to OFDA. The PS Division supports OFDA's mandate by providing innovative solutions in the areas of Information Technology, staffing, funds control, budgeting, human resource management, and procurement to facilitate timely disaster responses. The PS Division is divided into four teams: the Award, Audit, and Risk Management (AARM) Team, Human Resources Management (HRM) Team, Budget, Finance, and Information Technology (BFIT) Team, and the Acquisition and Management (ACQ) Team.

The Preparation, Strategic Planning and Mitigation (PSPM) Division is responsible for the technical oversight of all OFDA response and mitigation programs, as well as preparation for response, mitigation, and disaster risk reduction activities. The PSPM Division houses technical experts in all sectors potentially affected by disasters, and leads the Agency in developing and promoting best practices for programming in these specific sectors. In addition, PSPM will be the focal point for technological innovations for humanitarian assistance in areas such as monitoring and evaluation, assessment, and information management. The PSPM Division is divided into four teams: Cross-Cutting Sectors Team, Natural Hazards Team, Health Team, and the Food Security and Livelihoods Team.
The Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement (HPGE) Division assists the DCHA front office, the OFDA Director and OFDA Deputy Director with tracking trends and policy developments in the humanitarian assistance field. It engages in policy dialogue with other parts of USAID, the USG interagency, other donors, multilateral agencies, and NGO partners; recommends strategies for action to DCHA; initiates development of policy and internal guidance for OFDA; maintains global relationships with implementing partners, other donors, and the broader humanitarian architecture; and engages with the UN to advance USG humanitarian policy objectives and promote humanitarian principles within the USG and internationally. The HPGE Division leads OFDA's communications and social media outreach to effectively communicate OFDA’s story to a variety of strategic audiences. It serves as the office’s primary interlocutor on strategic issues with other federal partners to provide guidance to OFDA on policy issues pertaining to the interagency, and to improve USG humanitarian coordination and response during large-scale crises. The HPGE Division staff manages global programs, policy and outreach, strategic communications, and interagency training and engagement. HPGE is divided into seven teams: Policy Team, Global Programs Team, Strategic Interagency Team, Strategic Communications Team, Global Capacity and Leadership Development Team, Public-Private Engagement Team, and the United States Mission to the UN (USUN) in New York, Geneva, and Rome.
INTRODUCTION

The OFDA LAC Regional Office, based in San José, Costa Rica, oversees disaster risk reduction (DRR) and response assistance activities throughout the region. The Regional Office staff includes a senior regional advisor (SRA), several regional advisors (RAs), a program officer, and administrative staff. The OFDA/LAC team oversees the contractor-implemented OFDA Regional Disaster Assistance Program, which maintains a significant network of disaster risk management specialists in the region who work closely with OFDA staff to coordinate program activities in 28 countries.

OBJECTIVE

The LAC regional office seeks to hire a U.S. Personal Services Contractor (USPSC) to fill the position of a San José-based Information Officer (IO), to implement the regional team’s reporting and information management strategy, including gathering data and reporting on adverse events and disaster responses, writing field updates for regional office and headquarters staff, and helping the USAID/OFDA Information Support Unit (ISU) in Washington, D.C. produce fact sheets, humanitarian updates, annual reports, and other information products for internal and public use, in close coordination with the LAC SRA. The IO will provide full-time information support to OFDA’s humanitarian emergency and DRR efforts in the region.

The IO position requires strong abilities in writing, editing, and other communications skills. The IO will be required to develop a deep understanding of USAID/OFDA’s mandate, structure, disaster response requirements and operations, and humanitarian policies. The IO will be required to become well-versed in the regional program’s goals and objectives, DRR programs, daily operations, funding mechanisms, staff, consultants, and partners, as well as the hazards and vulnerabilities, political context, and USG relations with host government entities in the LAC region.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The IO for the LAC region will provide full-time information support to OFDA’s response to the crisis in the region. The San José IO will collaborate closely with other IOs on the LAC team based in San José, Costa Rica, and Washington, D.C., or on temporary duty assignment within the region to ensure that OFDA’s information needs are met in a consistent and timely. When needed, the IO may also travel to other countries in the region to serve on disaster responses and provide information support. Duties will include collecting, synthesizing, and analyzing information pertaining to humanitarian emergencies and response efforts in the region, and drawing upon that information to produce internal USG reports, cables, and success stories or regional newsletters, as well as other duties as directed by the SRA, or designee.

This position requires substantial daily coordination with the ISU and OFDA staff members based in offices throughout the region, as well as with representatives from other USAID offices, embassy staff, and the humanitarian community, and therefore requires a highly collaborative work style. The IO must be prepared to function effectively in a challenging, dynamic, fast-paced work environment, and be willing to strictly adhere to U.S. Embassy security guidelines.

The Information Officer will:

• Liaise with OFDA’s regional and Washington, D.C. offices, USAID Missions, the U.S. Embassy, Department of Defense, and other USG personnel, as well as donor government representatives and UN/Private Voluntary Organizations/NGOs/international organizations to present an inclusive and comprehensive picture of U.S. humanitarian response efforts for Latin America in information products.
• Draft field-produced information products for LAC teams in the region and Washington.
• Produce field notes, trip reports, meeting and call notes, updates, reporting cables, public reports, and other information products as needed.
• Manage data and produce or facilitate the production of a range of visual information products, such as maps, photos, tables, and charts.
• Assist in the preparation of agendas and briefings for official USG visitors.
• Obtain appropriate clearances for all information products produced.
• Attend humanitarian coordination and other meetings and collaborate closely with information counterparts from humanitarian organizations, including UN agencies and NGOs, to ensure that all relevant humanitarian information is obtained and incorporated into OFDA field products and provided to Washington, D.C.-based IOs in a timely manner.
• Participate in meetings with OFDA partners, humanitarian assessments, and site visits when possible in order to obtain information for field reports.
• Travel within and outside of Latin America on short notice for possibly extended periods of time. Travel to Washington, D.C. as needed for training or consultations with rotations in OFDA's ISU or relevant RMTs.
• May serve, as needed, on non-LAC Washington, D.C.-based RMTs, which provides support to DARTs deployed in response to disasters. The duties on RMTs will be varied.
• May serve on non-LAC DARTs, which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.
• As needed, may serve on temporary details within the office, not to exceed six months. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with the Team’s existing duties and responsibilities as well as directly related to the scope of work provided.

SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP:
The USPSC will take direction from and will report to OFDA’s SRA for LAC, or his/her designee, and maintain close coordination with OFDA’s ISU in Washington, D.C. The ISU will provide appropriate training and quality control feedback to maintain a consistent standard for all OFDA information products.

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS:
The supervisor will set overall objectives and determine deadlines and work priorities. The USPSC will also communicate directly with the ISU regarding information requirements from the regional team in Washington, D.C. The USPSC is expected to take initiative, work closely with the entire LAC regional team based in San Jose, Costa Rica and Washington, D.C., and perform with moderate direction in responding to humanitarian emergencies as part of a fast paced office environment.

12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS

The work is generally sedentary and does not pose undue physical demands. During deployment on DARTs (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).

Work is primarily performed in an office setting. 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.)

Bachelor’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, international relations, political science, or disaster management) and three (3) years of relevant work experience with the USG, private voluntary organization (PVO)/NGO, international organization or UN Agency. Such experience must have a humanitarian focus and include on-the-ground field experience in needs assessment, analysis, or reporting on emergency relief program operations, or post-emergency rehabilitation. Fluency in written and oral Spanish is required.

OR

Master’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, international relations, political science, or disaster management) and two (2) years of relevant work experience with the USG, PVO/NGO, international organization or UN Agency. Such experience must have a humanitarian focus and include on-the-ground field experience in needs assessment, analysis, or reporting on emergency relief program operations, or post-emergency rehabilitation. Fluency in written and oral Spanish is required.

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.

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 cover page 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 physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
• Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) submitted.
• Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.
• Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance.
• Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
• Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

QUALITY RANKING FACTORS (QRFs)
(Used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified offerors in comparison to other offerors. The factors are listed in priority order from highest to least. The evaluation of QRF responses and 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.)

QRF #1 Describe in detail both your English and Spanish oral and written communication skills as demonstrated through the preparation of succinct humanitarian and/or USG reports, briefings, and other communications used to inform strategic decision making.

QRF #2 Describe your field or field-related experience in detail. Based on the job description provided in the solicitation, how will your experience help you to succeed as an IO?

QRF #3 In 350 words or less, compose a brief providing the background and recent humanitarian developments and trends for a current humanitarian emergency in Latin America and Caribbean for a senior USG official traveling to the region. (Please include a word count at the end of the memo.)

QRF #4 Detail your demonstrated experience coordinating information management needs within the U.S. government, UN, other International Organizations, and/or NGOs, and with foreign governments.
QRF #5 USAID/OFDA teams are often multicultural, include representatives from multiple offices, and work under tight deadlines with competing pressures. Describe your experience working in a similar environment. What challenges did you face? How did you overcome them?

BASIS OF RATING: Offerors who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated based on scoring of the QRF responses. 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 of the QRFs in a separate document describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, and/or education 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 Quality Ranking Factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, and/or training.

The most qualified offerors may be interviewed and required to provide a writing sample. OFDA 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. OFDA reserves the right to select additional offerors if vacancies become available during future phase of the selection process.

The Offeror Rating System is as Follows:
QRFs have been assigned the following points:
QRF #1 – 7 points
QRF #2 – 7 points
QRF #3 – 6 points
QRF #4 – 6 points
QRF #5 – 4 points

Interview Performance – 30 points

Timed Writing Test – 30 points

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – 10 points

Total Possible Points: 100

IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER

Offers must be received by the closing date and time at the address specified in the cover letter.

Qualified individuals are required to submit:

1. 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.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (FedBizOpps, OFDA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).

Your resume should contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information should be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration.

2. Supplemental document specifically addressing the QRFs shown in the solicitation.

3. USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. AID 309-2 is available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.

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.

DOCUMENT SUBMITTALS

Via email: recruiter@ofda.gov

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