Overview

Summary

The purpose of this position is to serve as a Contract Specialist for the US Department of Veterans Affairs with the responsibility for performing professional work involving procurement of supplies and services using procedures outlined in the Federal Acquisition Regulations, VA Acquisition Regulations, Public Laws, and agency policy.

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Duties

Major duties and responsibilities include: Aids requiring activities in performing market research, reviewing specifications and statements of work, and approving acquisition milestone plans; Ensures specifications and statements of work are prepared in a manner which adequately describes the Government’s requirements without restricting competition; Advises technical personnel as to inadequate, ambiguous or vague specifications to avoid Government liability; Performs a complete review of recommended sole-source requirements and conducts necessary market analyses to test the noncompetitive assumptions of requisition; Selecting the appropriate method of procurement i.e. simplified acquisition procedures, sealed bidding, negotiations; Responsible for advertising all applicable requirements and preparing the solicitation document using agency contract writing systems for issuance, insuring regulatory and legal sufficiency, and promoting maximum competition; Conducts public bid openings, reviews bids and determines responsiveness and responsibility of low bidder in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements when using sealed bidding; Serves as contract administrator on awarded contracts; Conducts post-award conferences with Contractor and Government personnel to provide information and to clarify standard and special contractual provisions of the contract; Negotiates required changes to contract conditions to protect the agency; Resolves problems of delivery, production, quality, differing site conditions, inspection, and other pertinent matters; Performs cost/price analysis on change order proposals and analysis of delivery requirements; Administers payment provisions of the contract for partial payments, progress payments and final payments using the VA Online Certification system; Establishes position of the Government in disputes and issues final decisions of the Contracting Officer; Closes out contract upon completion of the contract, resolution of all conflicts, and final disposition of payment and obtains adequate release of claims documents to protect the agency; Fully utilize contract writing system (i.e., Electronic Contract Management System), contract reporting system (i.e., Federal Procurement Data System), financial management system (i.e., Integrated Funds Distribution, Control Point Activity, Accounting, and Procurement), and prosthetics application suite (i.e., Graphical User Interface), in accordance with Agency policies. Performs other related duties as assigned.

Work Schedule: Tour of Duty is 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Compressed/Flexible Schedules: Available

Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.

Remote: This may be a remote position. (Remote refers to work performed on full-time basis anywhere other than a VA facility or using VA-leased space.)

Virtual: This is a not a virtual position. (Virtual refers to work performed on full-time basis using VA-leased space or at a VA facility other than the facility that hired the employee.)**For this position, telework (up to 80% per pay period) or remote work (100% off site) may be authorized upon supervisor approval if within the local commuting distance of the advertised duty station.

Position Description/PD#: Contract Specialist (Direct Hire Authority)/PD11009A and PD11008A

Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized

Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not authorized

Physical Requirements: The work is sedentary in nature. There are no special physical requirements. The work is performed primarily in office areas or conference rooms and similar environments. However, it may require some traveling and visits to Government and/or contractor’s facilities and other contract-related performance sites.

This recruitment is for one position with the VHA Regional Procurement Office East, Network Contracting Office (NCO) 4 located:

  • Altoona, Pennsylvania
  • Aspinwall, Pennsylvania
  • Butler, Pennsylvania
  • Coatesville, Pennsylvania
  • Erie, Pennsylvania
  • Lebanon, Pennsylvania
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania
  • Wilmington, Delaware

. Vacancies can be filled at any of the duty locations listed, dependent upon space availability and management approval.

Candidates may be referred to the selecting official based off the number of applicants. The first 50 applicants will be reviewed. Additional candidates may be referred based on hiring needs.

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Requirements

Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • You may be required to serve a probationary period
  • Subject to background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Position requires filing a Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days from your start date

Qualifications

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 01/16/2023.

Basic Requirements:

Applicants must meet the basic requirement for this position.To meet the basic requirement for Contract Specialist GS-05 through GS-12 positions, applicants must have:

  • A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major in any field. OR,
  • At least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

Exceptions: Employees in GS-1102 positions will be considered to have met the standard for positions they occupy on January 1, 2000. Employees who occupy GS-1102 positions at grades 5 through 12 will be considered to meet the basic requirements for other GS-1102 positions up to and including those classified at GS-12. This includes positions at other agencies and promotions up through grade 12. However, employees must meet specialized experience requirements when seeking another position.

Note: The Defense Acquisition University (DAU) does not grant Academic degrees; therefore courses completed at the DAU are not creditable towards meeting the 24 semester hour requirement, in the fields identified above, unless the coursework has been evaluated by an accredited institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, and appears on a college or university transcript.

Specialized Experience GS-11: Applicants must also meet the specialized experience and/or education requirement for the GS-11 grade. You may qualify based on your experience and/or education described below for the GS-11 Contract Specialist position:

  • Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade (GS-09) in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience includes experience with: Federal Acquisition regulations (or similar), VA Acquisition regulations (or similar), contract law, and procedures applicable to acquisition and contract administration including change orders, supplemental agreements, terminations, claims, and close out of contracts; Various types of contracts including firm-fixed price, firm-fixed price with economic price adjustments, and cost reimbursement, and contract methods to include simplified acquisitions, sealed bidding, negotiations, cost sharing, multiple awards, commercial items, and special provisions; Cost/price analysis techniques used in evaluation of contractor proposals, change order proposals and to conduct negotiations; Negotiation techniques sufficient to negotiate prices, terms and conditions, contract modifications and settlements; Contract administration principles and practices sufficient to monitor contractor performance and compliance with all terms and conditions of the contract. OR,
  • Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education for this grade level you must have 3 full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree in one or a combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management. OR,
  • Combination: Applicants may combine education and experience to qualify at this level. You must have a combination of specialized experience and graduate education that equates to 100% of the requirements for the GS-11 (only graduate education in excess of 2 years, 36 semester hours, can be used towards crediting a combination of education and experience).

Specialized Experience GS-12: Applicants must also meet the specialized experience for the GS-12 grade. You may qualify based on your experience described below for the GS-12 Contract Specialist position:

  • Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade (GS-11) in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience includes experience with: Federal Acquisition Regulations (or similar), VA Acquisition Regulations (or similar), contract law, and procedures applicable to acquisition and contract administration including change orders, supplemental agreements, terminations, claims, and close out of contracts; Various types of contracts, including firm-fixed price, firm-fixed price with economic price adjustments, and cost reimbursement, and contract methods to include simplified acquisitions, sealed bidding, negotiations, cost sharing, multiple awards, commercial items, and special provisions; Cost/price analysis techniques used in evaluation of contractor proposals, change order proposals and to conduct negotiations; Negotiation techniques sufficient to negotiate prices, terms and conditions, contract modifications and settlements; Commercial and industrial business practices to identify sources, analyze cost and pricing data; Program objectives, technical terminology, and uses of equipment, architect engineering services, or construction services to be procured to plan, negotiate and administer the contract; Contract administration principles and practices sufficient to monitor contractor performance and compliance with all terms and conditions of the contract.
  • Education: There is no education substitute for the GS-12 grade.

Preferred requirements are available on the following FAC link: Contracting (FAC-C) | FAI.GOV

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

For more information on these qualification standards, visit the United States Office of Personnel Management’s website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.

Education

Transcripts: A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education. Transcripts must depict the name of the college to determine accreditation, and your name must also be displayed on the transcripts. If qualifying based on a degree, or for positions requiring a degree, the transcript must show the date the degree was conferred. If selected, you must provide official transcripts. Transcripts should state degree conferred, and have a date. Undergraduate transcripts are required to meet the basic requirement for this position; please submit all transcripts. Copies of Official Transcripts are accepted and are the best way to ensure your education is interpreted correctly in accordance with OPM qualification standards, but unofficial transcripts are accepted if they contain all the required information. If credit for a course is being questioned by the HR Professional performing qualifications, it is your responsibility to provide supporting descriptive information (course syllabus/descriptions) in your application package.

Note: Only education or degrees recognized by the U.S. Department of Education from accredited colleges, universities, schools, or institutions may be used to qualify for Federal employment. You can verify your education here: http://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education. For further information, visit: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-visitus-forrecog.html.

Graduate Education: To qualify for GS-1102 positions on the basis of graduate education, graduate education in one or a combination of the following fields is required: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

Additional information

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly appointed Federal employee’s credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

Special Employment Consideration: VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

The Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) and Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provide eligible displaced Federal/VA competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. To be qualified you must submit appropriate documentation (a copy of the agency notice, your most recent performance rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location) and be found well-qualified for this vacancy. To be well-qualified: applicants must possess experience that exceeds the minimum qualifications of the position including all selective factors, and who are proficient in most of the required competencies of the job. Information about ICTAP and CTAP eligibility is on OPM’s Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

If you are unable to apply online or need to fax a document you do not have in electronic form, view the following link for information regarding an Alternate Application.

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Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

VHA Service Center – 2

6100 Oak Tree Blvd

Independence, OH 44131

US