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Contract Specialist

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on Tuesday, July 2, 2024

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.

VA offers a comprehensive total rewards package: Contracting Specialist - Total Rewards

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Overview

  • Accepting applications
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This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

This position is only open to current, permanent employees of Procurement and Logistics Office (PLO) assigned to Stations 130 and 701 and CTAP employees.

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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.
ompressed/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 is 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 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 commuting distance of the advertised duty station(s) or within the geographical footprint of the NCO (1).

Position Description/PD#: Contract Specialist/PD11009A
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.

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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, 07/11/2024.

Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-12 position you must have served 52 weeks as a GS-11. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade.

Note:Time-In-Grade requirements also apply to former Federal employees applying for reinstatement as well as current employees applying for Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA) appointment.

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-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.

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.

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 an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be rated on the following competencies based on your application for this position:

  • Contract Administration: Knowledge and application of contract administration principles and practices sufficient to monitor contractor performance and compliance with all terms and conditions of the contract and deliverables; resolves discrepancies; performs contract closeout functions.
  • Customer Service: Works and communicates with clients and customers to satisfy their expectations. Committed to quality services.
  • Reading: Understands and interprets written material, including technical material, rules, regulations, instructions, reports, charts, graphs, or tables; applies what is learned from written material to specific situations.
  • Contract Formation: Uses knowledge acquired through extensive on the job experience to develop solicitation documents, create appropriate evaluation factors, review and analyze vendor submissions; is able to appropriately determine award recommendation.
  • Planning and Evaluating: Organizes work, sets priorities, and determines resource requirements; determines short- or long-term goals and strategies to achieve them; coordinates with other organizations or parts of the organization to accomplish goals; monitors progress and evaluates outcomes.
  • Decisions Making: Makes sound, well-informed, and objective decisions; perceives the impact and implications of decisions; commits to action, even in uncertain situations, to accomplish organizational goals; causes change.
  • Cost Estimation and Analysis: Knowledge of the principles, practices, and methods used to determine, estimate, and analyze costs, including determining life cycle costs, application of cost models, and evaluation of cost realism.
  • Acquisition Strategy: Knowledge of the principles and methods for developing an integrated acquisition management plan that describes the business, technical, and support strategies, including the relationship between the acquisition phases, work efforts, and key program events (for example, decision points, contract awards, test activities).
  • Organizational Stewardship: Takes responsibility and initiative, sets and meets priorities, follows through on commitments, safeguards information, and organizes and uses time and resources to achieve desired results.
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Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete Application Package which includes:

  • Resume
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript


The following documents are accepted, and may be required if applicable to your eligibility and/or qualifications for this position. Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.
  • Cover Letter
  • DD-214/ Statement of Service
  • Disability Letter (Schedule A)
  • Disability Letter (VA)
  • License
  • Other (1)
  • Performance Appraisal
  • Professional Certification
  • Resume
  • Separation Notice (RIF)
  • SF-15
  • SF-50/ Notification of Personnel Action
  • Transcript


SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action (if applicable for Time in Grade and/or Eligibility):
  • Most recent SF-50 if you are a current or former Federal employee
  • An SF-50 showing your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade
  • Award 50's do not provide sufficient information and will not be accepted for the purpose of verifying time-in-grade.
  • Examples of appropriate SF-50's include:
    • Within grade increases at the highest grade held; or
    • Promotions with an effective date more than one year old; or
    • SF-50's at the highest grade held with an effective date more than one year old.

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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How to Apply

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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Agency contact information

VHA National Recruitment Center
Address
VHA Service Center - 2
6100 Oak Tree Blvd
Independence, OH 44131
US
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Next steps


Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

You may check the status of your application at any time by logging into your USA Jobs account and clicking on Applications. Information regarding your application status can be found in the USAJobs Help Center.

NOTE: Participation in the seasonal influenza program is a condition of employment and a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP). It is a requirement that all HCP to receive annual seasonal influenza vaccination or obtain an exemption for medical or religious reasons. Wearing a face mask is required when an exemption to the influenza vaccination has been granted. HCP in violation of this directive may face disciplinary action up to and including removal from federal service. HCP are individuals who, during the influenza season, work in VHA locations or who come into contact with VA patients or other HCP as part of their duties. VHA locations include, but are not limited to, VA hospitals and associated clinics, community living centers (CLCs), community-based outpatient clinics (CBOCs), domiciliary units, Vet centers and VA-leased medical facilities. HCP include all VA licensed and unlicensed, clinical and administrative, remote and onsite, paid and without compensation, full- and part-time employees, intermittent employees, fee basis employees, VA contractors, researchers, volunteers and health professions trainees (HPTs) who are expected to perform any or all of their work at these facilities. HPTs may be paid or unpaid and include residents, interns, fellows and students. HCP also includes VHA personnel providing home-based care to Veterans and drivers and other personnel whose duties put them in contact with patients outside VA medical facilities.

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