USPSC Vetting Assistant (Multiple Positions)

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USAID / OFDA
Published
March 5, 2020
Location
Washington, D.C.
Post Type
Experience (minimum)
2-5 Years
Education (minimum)
Bachelor's
Travel Required?
Not specified
Base Salary
Not specified

Description

SOLICITATION NUMBER:          720FDA20B00026

ISSUANCE DATE:                          March 5, 2020 

CLOSING DATE AND TIME:       April 6, 2020, 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 a Vetting Assistant (VA) 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. 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? (beta.SAM.gov, OFDA 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.

  1. 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 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,

 

/s/

 

Renee Newton

Contracting Officer

GENERAL INFORMATION

SOLICITATION NO.: 720FDA20B00026

ISSUANCE DATE: March 06, 2020

CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: April 06, 2020, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time

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

POSITION TITLE: Vetting Assistant (Multiple Positions)

MARKET VALUE: $86,335 - $112,240 equivalent to GS-12 (includes 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.

 

If the position is for a Washington based PSC, offerors who live outside the Washington, D.C. area will be considered for employment, but no relocation expenses will be reimbursed.

PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: One (1) year, with four (4) one-year options

PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Washington, D.C.

ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: U.S. Citizens

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

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.

The Office of Food for Peace (FFP), also part of DCHA, is the largest provider of food assistance in the world and works together with others to reduce hunger and malnutrition and assure that adequate, safe and nutritious food is available, accessible to and well-utilized by all individuals at all times to support a healthy and productive life.

FFP works in both emergency and development contexts, with emergency and recovery activities comprising 80 percent of total spending. Through its emergency activities, FFP strives to provide food assistance to save lives, reduce suffering and support the early recovery of populations affected by both conflict and natural disasters. FFP also recognizes that repeatedly responding to emergencies is not enough to end hunger and increase food security. FFP development activities help chronically food insecure populations reduce their long-term need for food assistance through improved capacities and systems strengthening to ensure access to food for their most vulnerable communities and individuals, especially women and children. FFP also helps individuals and communities better withstand future shocks through resilience-building activities.

FFP’s geographic team members are engaged in food security needs assessments and identifying priority programmatic needs. They monitor program implementation through field visits and review of financial and performance reports, as well as ensure that programs are implemented in a manner consistent with policy and legislative guidelines and that program effectiveness is maximized. Program and policy staff members are engaged in budget development and oversight, developing recommendations on a wide range of policy questions, and explaining FFP food program guidance and policy positions in formal and informal interactions with staff of public international organizations (PIOs), NGOs, Agency bureaus and others. They also review/analyze PIO policy and operational issues, participate in strategy development, and are engaged in risk mitigation and internal control initiatives for the Office.

Technical sector specialists provide technical leadership on food security issues, educate and promote linkages between a wide array of sectors, and work to increase the impact of FFP programming.  They also promote and support capacity building and evidence-based learning.  Program operation specialists conduct financial analyses of food aid programming, recommend appropriate levels of commodity and review budgets. They conduct supply chain management and conduct inter- and intra-agency coordination for procurement of food aid and serve as experts on commodity standards, regulations and policies.  Grants and contracts specialists ensure adherence to regulations and policies through award documents and guidance materials with all functions of FFP supported by personnel and operations management staff.

FFP works closely with other parts of USAID, including OFDA as well as the Bureau for Food Security, which plays a key role in implementing the USG’s Feed the Future initiative.  FFP shares office space with OFDA in Washington, DC, working in close coordination and collaboration to address humanitarian assistance needs around the world.

INTRODUCTION

USAID and its partners must take steps to ensure that U.S. foreign assistance does not support individuals or groups designated as foreign terrorist organizations and sanctioned by the United States Government. [1]  Typically, urgent humanitarian assistance programs are exempt from vetting requirements, though USAID has the ability to vet partners as needed in countries where a relevant Mission Order is in place. However, some humanitarian programs, like in in Syria, carry an increased risk for USG funds to inadvertently benefit prohibited parties due to the ongoing presence of terrorist organizations and their affiliates in the Middle East. As a result, USAID has established a partner vetting program to vet prospective recipients implementing programs in Syria.

The Vetting Assistant (VA) performs a central role in OFDA and FFP’s partner vetting process.  The VA receives personal identifiable information (PII) from implementing partners and responds to their questions related to the vetting requests.  The VA helps coordinate the sharing of vital information with multiple vetting stakeholders, including: Vetting Official(s) (VO), Vetting Analyst(s) stationed in the Terrorist Screening Center USAID’s Office of Security (SEC), and OFDA and FFP program teams.  The VA also liaises with applicant and recipient organizations and will be directly responsible for entering data collected in USAID’s Partner Vetting System (PVS). The VA collaborates closely with partner organizations and is directly responsible for ensuring the completeness of data collected, sharing information about vetting procedures, and assisting OFDA and FFP in providing training to partner staff on vetting procedures and their applicability.

This position will be part of the AARM Team within OFDA’s PS Division, assigned to support the programs of one or more teams within OFDA and FFP.  The position’s portfolio assignment may change based on needs.  The position will be based in Washington, D.C., with travel to the field to support vetting of programs and to conduct training for applicant and recipient organizations.

OBJECTIVE

 

OFDA and FFP require the services of a VA to support the formal vetting process for their humanitarian programs. This position is responsible for planning and undertaking vetting assignments. The VA will enter PII received from recipient and applicant organizations and will support the VO to ensure compliance with USAID policies on the vetting of humanitarian programs.

 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

 

Working under the guidance and supervision of the VO, the VA will perform the following:

Vetting Portfolio Management:

  • Support the VO by managing the vetting request process from the receipt of PII received, from USAID implementing partners, through the communication of final vetting determinations.
  • Serve as the primary point of contact for USAID implementing partners and respond to any questions related to the Partner Information Form and PVS.
  • Collect and review vetting data received from applicants, and review forms for completeness and accuracy of information submitted by applicants or recipients.
  • Guide applicants and/or recipients on the type of supporting documents required for vetting and make necessary adjustments in PVS.
  • Track and submit vetting requests to USAID’s SEC for analysis and interface with SEC representatives for additional vetting information requests.
  • Perform regular checks in the PVS database to verify if a record currently exists for the prospective recipient.
  • Liaise with OFDA and FFP Agreement Officer Representatives/Contract Officer Representatives (AOR/COR) on final vetting determinations.
  • Create and maintain an internal vetting filing system that is in accordance with Agency policies on sensitive and classified information.
  • Develop and maintain data collection tools for vetting program monitoring and evaluation, with guidance from the VO.
  • Generate status reports for the VO, to analyze vetting results and monitor and outstanding vetting queries.
  • Initiate background research for vetting requests on open source databases, such as the Specially Designated Nationals and Blocked Persons List, or the UN Security designation list prior to submitting the request to SEC for vetting purposes. Exercise quality control checks on open source information.
  • Comply with Automated Directives System (ADS) Chapter 568 (National Security Information Program) and Executive Order 13526 (Classified National Security Information) regarding the handling of classified national security information, and consult with USAID SEC for guidance. Ensure compliance with USAID guidance on the disposition of files and records.
  • Test, identify, and report on PVS’s functionality and capabilities.
  • Report accuracy of data in PVS and recommend any corrective actions and improvements to the VO.
  • Ensure strong attention to detail and the ability to maintain confidentiality.

Partner Vetting Training and Representation:

  • Support the VO in providing training to USAID staff and external stakeholders on the partner vetting process.
  • Provide organizational and logistical support on internal and external partner vetting training.
  • Represent and participate in interagency, intra-agency and partner-wide vetting meetings.
  • With guidance from the VO, help support meetings with senior leadership on vetting eligibility determinations and vetting policy implications.
  • Assist with onboarding new staff on the partner vetting process.

Policy Guidance and Research:

  • Develop a strong understanding of USAID’s vetting policies, authorities, and approaches.
  • Assist in researching risk mitigation and programmatic risks for ongoing humanitarian crises (as needed) and helping draft internal guidance on vetting issues.
  • Support the VO in contributing to the development of internal memorandums and policy documents on risk mitigation in humanitarian assistance programming, including the coordination of the clearance process.

General:

  • Work in rapidly changing, high-pressure situations that often exceed normal business hours.
  • Sign-up for and serve as needed, on Washington-based RMTs, which provide services and support to DARTs deployed in response to disasters.  The duties on RMTs will be varied.
  • Serve as the OFDA after-hours duty officer on a rotational basis, for approximately one week every six months. As needed, serve on DARTs which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.
  • As needed, may serve on temporary detail within the office to meet operational needs during staff shortages, 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 report to the VO or their designee.

SUPERVISORY CONTROLS:

Supervisor sets overall objectives and resource available. The USPSC consults with 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 approach or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.

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 ENVIRONMENT

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.

START DATE: Immediately, once necessary clearances are obtained.

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 political science, language studies, international relations, international development,  security studies, or criminal justice plus five (5) years of progressively responsible experience working with  security, investigations, information and data management or international relations and/or development. Experience must include work (foreign or domestic) in complex emergency, non-permissive or natural disaster environments. Strong oral and written communications and customer service skills are required.

OR

Master’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field, including, but not limited to political science, language studies, international relations, international development, security studies, or criminal justice plus four (4) years of progressively responsible experience working with security, investigations, information and management or international relations and/or development.  Experience must include work (foreign or domestic) in complex emergency, non-permissive or natural disaster environments. Strong oral and written communications and customer service skills are 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.
  • 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.

 

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:

Professional Experience (20 points)

  • Experience in the review and entry of PII.
  • Experience of analyzing and interpreting data and working in secure and classified systems.
  • Experience in, and knowledge of, working in complex, high-threat and/or non-permissive environments.
  • Demonstrated experience in liaising with a wide variety of stakeholders.

Skills and Abilities (10 points)

  • Demonstrated skills in communicating complex issues to a range of stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in providing customer service and possessing excellent attention to detail.
  • Skill in oral/written communications.
  • Proven experience in working on sensitive and classified information.
  • Ability to multi-task and respond to deadlines in a fast-paced environment.

Representational and Training Experience (10 points)

  • Experience in facilitating training to internal and external stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated experience in representing organizations in meetings and public fora.
  • Proven ability in providing organizational and logistical support to training.

Interview Performance (40 points)

Timed Writing Test (10 points)

Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks (10 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. 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.

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. 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? (beta.SAM.gov, OFDA 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. 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.

  1. 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

To apply for this job, please login to NGO Job Board.

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