USPSC Support Relief Group (SRG) Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Specialist (Multiple Positions)
SOLICITATION NUMBER: 720BHA23R00019
ISSUANCE DATE: March 1, 2023
CLOSING DATE AND TIME: November 30, 2023, 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) 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.
U.S. Agency for International Development 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20523
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. SOLICITATION NO.: 720BHA23R00019
2. ISSUANCE DATE: March 1, 2023
3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: This solicitation is open and continuous until November 30, 2023. The following are the closing dates for each review period:
March 31, 2023, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
July 31, 2023, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
November 30, 2023, 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: FARO Recruitment Team, BHA.FARORecruitment@usaid.gov
5. POSITION TITLE: Support Relief Group (SRG) Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Specialist (Multiple Positions)
6. MARKET VALUE: $84,546 ‐ $109,908 equivalent to GS‐13 (includes 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.
Salaries over and above the top of the pay range will not be entertained or negotiated.
7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Worldwide
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
STATEMENT OF LIMITATIONS ON PERIOD AND PLACE OF PERFORMANCE:
The purpose of this contract is to establish an employee/employer relationship with the contractor to perform services on a temporary, on‐call, basis as part of the SRG. BHA intends to contract for these services for a maximum of 250 days per calendar year. Activation days vary but will not exceed 250 days during each contract year.
The level of effort anticipated under this contract will be provided within the terms of this contract at times mutually agreed to by BHA and the contractor. Upon identification of a temporary need within the scope of work, BHA will contact the contractor and provide the following information:
1. Date contractor is needed to report to BHA or assignment in the field
2. Duration of Assignment
3. Place of Performance
The contractor will notify BHA within 24 hours of availability. At the time the contractor accepts the assignment, he/she is expected to commit for the duration of the assignment. While the contractor will be required to commit to a certain time period, it is understood that the exigencies of a disaster may require the assignment to be extended (not to exceed 250 days). The contractor shall notify BHA at the time of commitment if their existing schedule would preclude an extension. Notification of schedule conflicts shall not necessarily disqualify the contractor from the assignment but will simply assist BHA in recruiting a replacement. Subsequently, if the contractor agrees to an extension of the duration of a particular assignment, thereafter, the contractor will be required to give BHA 10 days’ notice for release from the assignment.
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 Office of Field and Response Operations (FARO) is a diverse, mission‐driven team of experts leading the Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) operational readiness and excelling in the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Together, we create a safe environment where we inspire and enable our staff to achieve their full potential.
The Support Relief Group (SRG) is a program developed by BHA to satisfy its growing need for surge capacity. The SRG program brings on board candidates who work full‐time for discrete periods of time, but on an intermittent basis for no more than 2000 hours (approximately 250 days) per calendar year. SRG can be deployed within hours to backfill Washington positions, to be assigned to field offices for staff enhancement, to serve on various response teams at both headquarters and in the field, and to assess critical situations as warranted. 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.
Activation of the Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Specialist will be coordinated with the USAR and United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Unit (U2), which is part of the Operational Response and Capacity Building (ORCB) Team, within FARO. ORCB houses BHA’s specialized operational response capacity and operational response leadership cadre and enables the Bureau to mobilize a robust operational response to large‐scale earthquakes, wildfires, infectious disease outbreaks, and other specific risks as well as technical resources and training outside of response operations. U2 enables BHA’s response readiness and coordination with USAR disaster response capabilities through cooperative agreements (CAs) to deploy USAR capabilities in support of a BHA response, as well as the institutional operational relationships with the UN’s USAR capacity and body of knowledge through the International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG). U2 is responsible for providing technical advice and expertise to the wider USAR community through a variety of events, including conferences, training exercises, and certification maintenance.
FARO requires SRG USAR Specialists to support effective coordination of FARO’s USAR efforts with other international responders and participating agencies, provide technical support to the FARO USAR programs, and perform field‐level coordination related to deployment of USAR teams. The SRG USAR Specialists will support the U2 Unit Leader and U2 Field Coordinators, and will serve as the office’s tertiary point of contact and resource on UNDAC and INSARAG activities.
STATEMENT OF DUTIES TO BE PERFORMED
● Support BHA activities, coordination, and responsibilities related to the UNDAC and INSARAG mechanisms, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National USAR System, and their undertakings.
● Provide support and maintain awareness of the roster for U.S. UNDAC team members.
● Provide technical guidance and response system management for activations of U.S. UNDAC team members.
● Provide support to the management of the BHA‐funded Americas Support Team staff and equipment cache in support of and coordination with UNDAC deployments in the Americas region.
● Provide support and maintain awareness of the roster of U.S. USAR Coordination members.
● Provide support to the management of the BHA‐funded response Base Camp Module and equipment cache in support of and coordination with global response deployments.
● Serve as a liaison between BHA and other U.S. Government (USG) agencies involved with international USAR response for departments and agencies not already served by another BHA division, such as Department of Homeland Security or the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Branch.
● Serve as a liaison between BHA and other UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs agencies involved with international USAR response for departments and agencies not already served by another BHA division.
● Consult with other USG agencies on behalf of BHA to share information on USAR activities and capabilities, and to contribute to the establishment of coordinated agency priorities with respect to overseas disaster response.
● Facilitate USAR‐related inter‐agency preparedness and mitigation programs.
● Support USAR Program monitoring and evaluation activities.
● Support planning of internal and external training exercises related to USAR tactical field operations.
● Facilitate interoffice actions of USAR‐related preparedness issues such as badging, security clearances, and Response Management System selection processes.
● Consistently model behaviors that demonstrate a commitment to building and maintaining a non‐hostile work environment free of discrimination, bias, unfairness, exclusion, offensive behaviors, and harassment of any kind.
● Demonstrate an understanding of the value of differing perspectives, cultural norms, and gender in the work environment.
● Demonstrate consistent accountability for adherence to and knowledge of laws, executive orders, and USAID’s policies which prohibit Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and non‐EEO infringements as well as the Agency’s policy that strictly prohibits sexual misconduct, including harassment, exploitation or abuse of any kind among staff or implementing partners, and gender‐based discrimination.
● Become certified and serve as an Agreement Officer’s Representative/Contracting Officer’s Representative (AOR/COR), as assigned. The AOR/COR provides financial and programmatic oversight of all aspects of managing the agreement or contract; this includes but is not limited to reviewing invoices, requests for approvals, program/project deliverables (i.e., work plans, annual reports, month status reports), travel requests, key personnel requests, and financial/budget reports. They are responsible for drafting and submitting the annual contractor performance evaluation in Contract/Assistance Performance Assessment Review System (CPARS/APARS). They prepare and review contract/assistance modifications documentation and assist the Contracting/Agreement Officer to ensure performance is compliant with the terms and conditions of the contract/agreement, the FAR, and USAID policy. AOR/CORs are responsible for all related requirements in the COR designation letter and the AOR designation letter.
● Serve as AOR or Alternate AOR for the USAR CAs.
● May be requested to be on‐call or serve on Washington‐based Response Management Teams (RMTs), which provide services and support to Disaster Assistance Response Teams (DARTs) deployed in response to disasters. The duties on RMTs will vary.
● May serve on DARTs which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time. 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.
● The SRG USAR Specialist 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.
The USPSC will take direction from and report to the FARO/Response Resources Division Chief or their designee. During activation, day to day work is under the general supervision of the U2 lead or designee.
Supervisor sets overall objectives and resources available; the USPSC consults with the supervisor to develop deadlines, projects, and work to be done. The USPSC is responsible for planning and carrying out assignments. The USPSC is responsible for planning approaches or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.
12. PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.
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.)
High school diploma and at least eleven (11) years of current experience working in any level of government (ex. Federal, state, city, etc.), an international organization, a non‐governmental organization, or a business setting, or combination thereof, five years (5) of which must be in first response or USAR disaster response program management, administration, and operations.
Bachelor's degree with significant study in or pertinent to first response and/or USAR (including, but not limited to: public administration, international relations/development, sudden onset disaster humanitarian response) and at least seven (7) years of relevant experience working in any level of government (ex. Federal, state, city, etc.), an international organization, or a non‐ governmental organization, or a business setting, or a combination thereof, three years (3) of which must be in first response or USAR disaster response program management, administration, and operations.
Master's degree with significant study in or pertinent to a USAR and disaster coordination (including, but not limited to: public administration, international relations/development, sudden onset disaster humanitarian response) and at least five (5) years of relevant experience working in any level of government(ex. Federal, state, city, etc.), an international organization, or a non‐governmental organization, or a business setting, or a combination thereof, two years
(2) of which must be in first response or USAR disaster response program management, administration, and operations.
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.
(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 physically 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.
● Ability to obtain and maintain a Department of State medical clearance throughout the contract.
● 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 rating factors are as follows:
MATRIX (30 points)
● Experience in USAR coordination and tactical USAR operations within the international humanitarian context. (5 points)
● Experience with USAR management or administration. (5 points)
● Experience with the UN humanitarian community. (5 points)
● Experience representing organizational equities in national or international forums. (5 points)
● Experience explaining USAR procedures to stakeholders with less technical knowledge. (5 points)
● Experience with program management or design. (5 points)
Interview Performance (50 points)
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks (20 points)
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 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. 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.).
Your resume must contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information must 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.
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. Ensure Adequate COVID‐19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors ‐ Please be advised that upon award, the contractor will be required to show proof that the contractor is fully vaccinated against COVID‐19 on or before the first date of onboarding, or submit an approved reasonable accommodation to the CO. If the contractor does not meet this requirement the contract may be terminated.* USPSCs/TCNPSCs performing overseas must follow the Mission policies and/or directives from the U.S. Department of State regarding COVID‐19 requirements.
*See Notice Regarding Any Court Order Affecting the Implementation of E.O. 14042 in Section VIII below.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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.