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Acquisition and Assistance Specialist

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About USAID/Afghanistan

The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission in Afghanistan, is seeking applications from qualified Afghan Nationals to perform duties as an Acquisition and Assistance Specialist under a personal services contract as described in this solicitation.

Job Summary

The Acquisition and Assistance Specialist performs duties for the Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA), USAID/Afghanistan. The function of OAA is to provide acquisition and assistance (procurement) support to Mission technical offices and strategic objective teams. The primary purpose of this position is to review and recommend approval or revision of requisitions in the Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS); review and recommend approval or revision of statements of work (SOW); perform complex cost and price analyses; analyze proposals and/or quotes received; review contracts and contract modifications; analyze contractor-proposed budgets; recommend revisions to various contract provisions; write Memoranda of Negotiation; and prepare other required documentation. The incumbent maintains up-to-date contract files, prepares Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPAR), and supports award closeouts. As required, the Specialist provides guidance to Mission staff members related to administrative award modifications. The incumbent is responsible for carrying out day-to-day activities in an independent manner.

Job Details

Date Posted: 13 Apr 2017 Reference: USAID/306/17/24/OAA
Closing Date: 12 Sep 2017 Work Type: Full Time
Number of Vacancies: 3 Gender: Any
Functional Area: Procurement Open Ended: NO
Nationality: Afghan Salary Range: As per company salary scale
Contract Type: Permanent Years of Experience: 3 Year(s)
Contract Duration: 0 Year(s) & 0 Month(s) Extension Possibility: Yes
Probation Period: 3 Months

Duties and Responsibilities

This position is designated as a career-ladder position, starting at FSN-09 with full performance level at FSN-11. Attainment of full performance level, FSN-11, represents that the Specialist has successfully completed substantial on-the-job and training requirements (classroom and online), met agreed-upon objectives and milestones, and has performed at the fully successful (or equivalent) level in their annual performance review. Therefore, promotion to the next grade, and/or target FSN-11 grade level is not automatic as the incumbent must meet the pre-set performance criteria.

At the FSN-11 level
The incumbent provides professional-level procurement planning advice and guidance to USAID/ Afghanistan technical offices including advice on procurement policy and procedures in the design and implementation of Mission activities. The incumbent coordinates the development of procurement objectives for assigned portfolios in terms of potential implementing partner (IP) organizations, competitive issues, and socio-economic issues, and identifies and constructs appropriate contract and/or grant instruments. Negotiations are to ensure acquisition plans are current, have appropriate milestones, and related schedules are adequate.

The incumbent reviews GLAAS requisitions (REQs) requesting acquisition/assistance for major and complex programs/projects/activities and/or services. S/he analyzes requirements, and determines instrument selection or procurement approach; ensures that necessary Mission clearances have been obtained, and that waivers and other supporting documentation are complete; recommends revisions regarding SOWs, budgets, classification of terms, reporting requirements, special conditions, ensures that required performance indicators are developed and included in the initial request for proposal or request for application; develops solicitation documentation, and transmits solicitations for proposal using Internet-based technology. The incumbent responds to offeror questions during the proposal submission phase and prepares clarifying amendments as required. The Specialist holds pre-bid or consultative meetings with partners to fully explain the Agency and counterpart’s needs and to discuss solicitation documents. The incumbent applies a high degree of judgment and analysis when deciding among and between competing and often conflicting regulations and objectives, where the activities involved include multi-million-dollar issues, often with significant political and/or legal implications.

The incumbent evaluates applications and offers for responsiveness to particular solicitations, and documents the relative strengths and deficiencies of each proposal; guides Mission teams in the practice of 'best value' selection, and in performance-based technical approaches; and obtains reports and references, ensuring that past performance of the offeror is relevant and of a high quality. S/he ensures that offerors have adequate management, accounting, personnel, procurement systems, appropriate corporate leadership, resources and quality control systems to meet procurement requirements. The incumbent requests audit reports or pre-award surveys from the Office of the Inspector General, and/or the Defense Contract Audit Agency, and obtains clearances as needed for other issues. The incumbent analyzes cost proposals and technical scores from technical evaluation committees and based on the analysis, establishes the competitive range and presents documentation for signature to the Contracting Officer/Regional Contracting Officer. S/he performs analysis of cost issues, and determines reasonableness of costs submitted; ensures data provided is consistent with USAID requirements on eligible geographic sources, and that salary structures are consistent with Agency policy; and identifies circumstances that may require a waiver. Coordinates issues of technical weakness and excessive cost with Mission teams and instructs the members of the Team, host-country counterparts and other Mission staff on the USAID procurement process.

The incumbent designs the negotiation strategy, identifies areas subject to negotiation, and consults with technical specialists concerning data submitted by offerors; conducts extensive negotiations on cost and technical issues prior to contract award, presenting USAID issues of concern, and persuading offerors to upgrade technical deficiencies and reduce costs where appropriate; requests submission of revised final proposals and prepares appropriate contract or grant instruments for award; coordinates the last stages of selection with Mission teams and/or the technical evaluation committee(s); negotiates and awards grants and cooperative agreements with US-based and indigenous Private Voluntary Organizations (PVO) and Non-governmental Organizations (NGO), colleges and universities, and other non-profit organizations; analyzes transactions to ensure compliance with Agency cost-sharing and registration policies, as well as local laws governing status; and coordinates contracting activities with other government agencies, frequently negotiating and drafting interagency agreements. Presents award decisions of ultimate contractor/recipient to the Contracting Officer/Regional Contracting Officer, with all the appropriate supporting documentation, including the development of appropriate performance indicators, in conjunction with Mission teams; and organizes and conducts orientation meetings with selected contractors, to ensure that mobilization efforts will be conducted efficiently, and that all terms and conditions of procurement instruments are clear and well-understood by all parties. The incumbent provides support debriefings to unsuccessful offerors.

Monitors contractor performance in relation to the completion schedule required by the contract or assistance instrument; represents OAA at performance-related meetings; assists the technical office to develop appropriate indicators for work plans and contract documents; ensures contractors are fully compliant with performance standards contained in the contract, and seeks corrective action in cases of non-compliance; expedites change orders or revisions when circumstances require; and issues ‘show cause' or ‘cure notices,’ and/or recommends termination of contracts for default or for convenience and negotiates termination settlements.

The incumbent analyzes, and takes action to resolve, audit findings; prepares necessary documents to resolve all aspects of audits, questions; and presents documentation to the Contracting Officer/Regional Contracting Officer for signature. Reviews completed (after full performance) contract files to determine that all contractual actions are satisfied and that there are no pending administrative actions to be resolved; ensures that all file documents are signed, that there are no litigation actions pending and that the contract is complete in every respect and ready to be closed; and ensures that contracts nearing annual anniversaries or final completion have a completed performance report from the COR/AOR and submits reports to the contractor for comment.

Upon attainment of the full performance level (FSN-11) the incumbent provides guidance and mentoring to junior-level staff, trainees and procurement technicians on basic principles of U.S. government (USG) and USAID acquisition, general procurement management, procurement policy direction, new/changed procurement policies, etc., as required.

At the FSN-10 level
The Specialist (Trainee) performs duties similar to those of an FSN-11 but at a lower level. The primary purpose of this position, at this level, is to learn by performing a variety of acquisition and assistance duties including writing grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other procurement instruments and preparing amendments in support of the Mission. The Specialist (Trainee) reviews and recommends approval or revision of requisitions in GLAAS; reviews and recommends approval or revision of SOWs; drafts requests for proposal or quote; performs cost and price analysis; analyzes proposals or quotes received; drafts contracts and contract modifications; analyzes contractor-proposed budgets; recommends revisions to various contract provisions; writes Memoranda of Negotiation; and prepares other required documentation.

The incumbent is responsible for program/project/activity acquisition and assistance support for USAID/Afghanistan technical offices and Mission teams. These programs/projects/activities are implemented through complex USG contracting and grant mechanisms, including but not limited to purchase orders, competitively negotiated technical assistance agreements, contracts, cooperative agreements, and sole source contracts. Assists the technical office to select the appropriate procurement instrument type for the situation at hand, and to learn and accurately apply USG and Agency procurement laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing each type of instrument. The incumbent must become equally familiar with the procedures for the acquisition of goods and for managing personal service and non-personal service contracting actions. The Specialist (Trainee) is expected to work with technical specialists/activity managers in technical offices throughout the Mission, assisting in the preparation of annual procurement plans, the development of clear and concise statements of work and full supporting documentation. The incumbent must be able to provide authoritative technical guidance to technical specialists/activity managers, pertaining to their procurement-related responsibilities and procedures.

At the FN-09 level
The incumbent performs duties similar to those at the FSN-10 level, but will learn through training and carry out these day-to-day activities under the mentorship of more senior OAA employees. The incumbent is responsible for providing basic project acquisition and assistance support to USAID/Afghanistan technical offices and Mission teams. The incumbent is required to provide basic and limited acquisition assistance to designate technical offices and Mission teams and to support a variety of programs/projects/activities. These programs/projects/activities are implemented through complex USG contracting and grant mechanisms, including but not limited to purchase orders, competitively negotiated technical assistance agreements, contracts, cooperative agreements, and sole source contracts, requiring the incumbent to become familiar with the full range of USAID procurement instruments.

The incumbent is assigned work in such a manner as to provide training and growth opportunities so the specialist will understand the basis for independent selection of appropriate procurement instrument types for the situation at hand, and how to accurately apply USG procurement laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing each type of instrument. The developmental nature of the assignment provides exposure to the acquisition of goods and various types of services. The incumbent will become equally familiar with the procedures for acquisition of goods and for managing personal service and non-personal service contracting actions. The incumbent is expected to work with higher-level Specialists/Officers and with technical specialists/activity managers in Mission teams throughout the Mission and/or the Region, assisting in the preparation of annual procurement plans, clear and concise statements of work, and supporting documentation, developing the ability to provide authoritative technical guidance to technical specialists/activity managers pertaining to their procurement-related responsibilities and procedures.

Skills

Knowledge:
At the FSN-11 level

Knowledge of U.S. Federal and USAID Acquisition Regulations and knowledge and understanding of how to execute and administer a complex acquisition and assistance portfolio is required, particularly as it relates to acquisition through methods of negotiation, sealed bidding and small purchase procedures that result in standard and established contract types. A good knowledge of host-country and regional markets pertaining to program/project/activity requirements for services and commodities and a good knowledge and understanding of U.S. market and pricing methods is required. Knowledge of business processes in public or private sectors is required. The ability to plan and administer large acquisition activities, and provide adequate acquisition assistance and support for agency programs/projects/activities in a timely manner is required. The ability to apply governing contracting regulations, procedures and policies to individual complex acquisition and assistance programs is required. FAC-C Level II certification required for employment at this level.

At the FSN-10 and FSN-09 trainee levels

Knowledge of public and/or private-sector business processes or the ability to quickly gain such knowledge is required. An understanding of U.S. Federal and USAID Acquisition Regulations and/or knowledge and understanding of how to execute and administer a complex acquisition portfolio and/or the ability to quickly gain such understanding is required, particularly as it relates to acquisition through methods of negotiation, sealed biding, small purchase procedures, which result in standard and established contract types a basic understanding of markets pertaining to program/project/activity requirements for services and commodities and a good knowledge and understanding of U.S. market and pricing methods is desirable. The potential to acquire the ability to plan and administer acquisition activities and provide acquisition assistance and support for Agency programs and projects in a timely manner is required. The potential to gain the ability to apply contracting regulations, procedures and policies to individual acquisition and assistance programs is required. FAC-C Level I certification required for employment at the FSN-10 level.

Skills and Abilities: An ability to deal effectively with high-level representatives of the U.S. and regional business community and with colleagues in USAID Missions and/or host governments throughout the region is required. Skill in the use of most elements of the Microsoft Business suite is required. Good analytical, negotiating and time management skills, along with strong proofreading skills and attention to detail, are required. The ability to work calmly, tactfully, and effectively under pressure is essential, as well as the ability to maintain strict confidentiality and meet all standards of conduct/ethics standards in accordance with U.S. law throughout all phases of acquisition and assistance procurement processes.

Qualifications

Education: A Bachelor’s degree in accounting, law, business, finance, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods and/or organization and management.
(Educational requirement must be met at the time of application for the subject position).

Work Experience:
At the FSN-11 level
A minimum of five years of progressively responsible work experience in acquisition and assistance. As this position is part of a recognized and established career ladder, a minimum of two years of this experience must have been gained working in a USAID Contracting/A&A Office, performing procurement activities and responsibilities as described, with at least one year work experience at or the equivalent of the next lower, FSN-10, grade level. NB: Additional experience may NOT be substituted for education. Successful completion of USG Contracting certification (FAC-C) Level II.

At the FSN-10 Trainee level
A minimum of four years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance, development assistance, or a closely related field. As this position is part of a recognized and established career ladder, a minimum of one year of this experience must have been gained working in a USAID Contracting/A&A Office at no less than the next lower grade level, FSN-09 Trainee level. Successful completion of USG Contracting certification (FAC-C) Level I is required to be eligible for this grade level.

At FSN-09 Trainee level
A minimum of three years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance, development assistance, or a closely related field. One year of this experience must have been gained working in a position equivalent to no less than the next lower level of FSN responsibility in this or a related occupation, within a USG organization, equivalent work with the host government, the private sector, or within an international or donor organization, in an English-language work environment.
(Work experience requirement must be met at the time of application for the subject position).

Language Proficiency: Level IV (Fluent) speaking/reading of English language and Level IV (Fluent) speaking/reading of Dari and/or Pashto is required.

Job Location

Afghanistan - Kabul: PROVINCIAL CENTER (KABUL)

Education:

Bachelors Degree, Procurement

Submission Guideline

Applicants are requested to submit a complete application package which must include all required documents with a Subject line: Acquisition and Assistance Specialist 306-17-24-OAA.

This solicitation is open for applications until the positions are filled.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

1. Cover memo/email text that outlines how your qualifications and experience meet the selection criteria.
2. Application for Employment as a Locally Employed Staff (DS-174)
http://photos.state.gov/libraries/afghanistan/941877/jobs/DS-174.doc
http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/136408.pdf (A copy of the DS-174 form can also be downloaded from ACBAR.org under this link http://www.acbar.org/applicationform. Applicants who are accessing this solicitation through jobs.af can download directly from the website) AND
3. A current resume or a curriculum vitae

IMPORTANT:
IN ORDER TO HAVE YOUR APPLICATION CONSIDERED, YOU MUST SUBMIT ALL THREE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS. IF YOU OMIT ANY OF THE REQUIRED DOCUMENTS, COVER PAGE, CV or DS-174 FORM, YOUR APPLICATION WILL NOT BE CONSIDERED.

Note:

 Only short-listed candidates will be notified.
 This vacancy is open only to Afghan Nationals.
 Applications with insufficient, incomplete and inconsistent information to make a determination will not be considered.
 No in-person appointments or telephone calls will be entertained.
 Applications submitted as .RAR file will not be accepted by the system
 Candidates who are applying for this position must fully meet the education requirement (graduated and degree and/or diploma already received) as specified. At the time of applications, candidates must also meet in full the experience requirement. There is no exception for these requirements.
 Short-listed candidates will be requested to provide educational documents such as degrees, diplomas, certificates and other pertinent documents as needed. Failure to provide the required documentation will result the rejection of their application from further consideration.
 The Agency retains the full right to cancel or amend the solicitation and associated actions.

USAID IS AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER
ALL ETHNIC GROUPS AND GENDERS ARE URGED TO APPLY

Submission Email

AFPAKjobs@usaid.gov

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