Contract Specialist

Arlington, Virginia
Jun 20, 2017
Jul 20, 2017
Full Time

About the Agency

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a separately organized agency within the Department of Defense under a Director, appointed by the Secretary of Defense. The Agency engages in advanced basic and applied research and development projects essential to the Department of Defense, and conducts prototype projects that embody technology that may be incorporated into joint programs, programs in support of deployed US forces, or selected Military Department programs and, on request, assists the Military Departments in their prototype efforts. In this regard, DARPA arranges for, manages, and directs the performance of work connected with assigned advanced projects by the military departments, other Government agencies, private business entities, and educational or research institutions, as appropriate; recommends through the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics (USD (AT&L)) to the Secretary of Defense assignment of advanced projects to the Agency; keeps the USD (AT&L), the Organization of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Military Departments, and other DoD agencies informed on significant new developments and technological advances within assigned projects; and performs other such functions as the Secretary of Defense or USD (AT&L) may assign.

The Contracts Management Office (CMO) plans, negotiates, and awards procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transactions for selected technology projects, consortium projects, and other cooperative projects where innovative and/or special contractual arrangements are desired. In addition to normal contract and grant authorities, CMO may operate under special Congressional statutory authorities under 10 U.S.C. 2371 to conduct research projects and under 10 U.S.C. 2371b which allows DoD organizations to carry out military prototyping projects using Other Transactions, an acquisition instrument not governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

  • Occasional Travel
  • You may be expected to travel for this position.

  • No

  • Must be a U.S. citizen
  • Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered for Selective Service
  • Resume and supporting documents (See How To Apply)
  • Suitable for Federal employment, determined by a background investigation
  • May be required to successfully complete a probationary period
  • You must meet one of the following required basic qualifications in order to be considered for the position:

    DAWIA EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS, Public Law 106-398, Section 808: A.) A baccalaureate degree from an accredited educational institution authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees AND B.) at least 24 semester hours (or equivalent) of study from an accredited institution of higher education in any of the following disciplines; accounting, business finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, and organization and management; OR C.) a civilian employee in DoD or member of the Armed Forces, who occupied a GS-1102 position or contracting officer position with authority to award or administer contracts above the simplified acquisition threshold on or before September 30th, 2000 is excluded from the requirements of A. AND B. above, but must meet the requirements identified in Public Law 101-510, section 1724: A. OR B. above.
    In addition to meeting the DAWIA requirements above, applicants must demonstrate in their resume at least one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent that equipped them with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) to successfully perform the duties of the position and is directly in or related to this position. To be creditable, specialized experience must be equivalent to the next lower grade level or equivalent under other pay systems in the Federal service, military or private sector which is in or directly related to the work of this position. You must meet eligibility requirements including time-in-grade (General Schedule (GS) positions only), time-after-competitive appointment, minimum qualifications and any other regulatory requirements by the cut-off/closing date of the announcement.

    You MUST provide transcripts or other documentation to support your educational claims. Unless otherwise stated: (1) unofficial transcripts are acceptable at time of application, or (2)
    If you are serviced by the office filling this position and your transcripts are on file in your official personnel folder, you are not required to submit. However, it is your responsibility to ensure transcripts are on file.

    All materials must be submitted by the closing date of the announcement.

    You may qualify at the GS-13, if you fulfill the following qualifications:
    One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 grade level in the Federal service: Reviewing procurement request support documentation, contracts, and acquisition plans.
    Researching theories and new developments to exiting contract issues and assisting in the development of procurement/acquisition policies in order to solve procurement/acquisition problems.

    You may qualify at the GS-14, if you fulfill the following qualifications:
    One year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-13 grade level in the Federal service: Master of procurement principles and practices sufficient to plan, implement, and administer complex, time-sensitive technical programs.
    Master of non-procurement instruments such as grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transactions

    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; religious; 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.

    Substitution of education may not be used in lieu of specialized experience for this grade level.

    Work Schedule: Fulltime
    Overtime: Occasionally
    Tour of Duty: Set Schedule
    Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Exempt
    Financial Disclosure: Required
    Telework Eligibility: This position is eligible for situational telework
    Selective Service Requirement: Please visit for more information.

    For more information, please visit General Application Information and Definitions.

    Other Notes:

    CRITICAL ACQUISITION POSITION (CAP). Selectee for this position will be required to sign a written agreement to remain, for a minimum of three years, in the federal service in this critical acquisition position.

    ACQUISITION POSITION: This position requires Acquisition Workforce Level III Certification in the Contracting field prior to hiring is not essential but must be accomplished within 24 months after entry into this position.

    Status candidates must meet time-in-grade requirements (52 weeks at the next lower grade level).

    All applicants must meet qualifications and eligibility criteria by the closing date of the announcement.

    Top Secret/SCI


    This position is being filled under the Acquisition Expedited Hiring Authority (EHA) using OPM's Direct Hire Authority.

    As a CONTRACT SPECIALIST at GS-1102-13/T14 level, some of your typical work assignments may include:

    • Responsible for a variety of acquisition and assistance related elements reaching primarily across the full range of research and development contracting, but also including services acquisitions, internationally contracting and other unique contracting situations.
    • Serve as an acquisition representative for primary technical office, but also assists other technical offices in matters related to acquisitions and assistance.
    • Take an active and direct role in the acquisition planning process, adapting to each technical offices varying internal processes, management and communication styles and personalities while reviewing and assessing requirements and developing the most appropriate, streamlined, and efficient acquisition strategy.
    • Serve as the principle acquisition advisor to technical clients, provide expertise on the use of Other Transactions in non-procurement and prototyping situations.
    • Serve as a contracting officer, a grants officer, or an agreements officer with specified negotiation authority for assigned technical programs across technical offices and acquisitions.
    • Assess and resolve complex pre-award issues including evaluating contractor technical and financial capability, perform cost analysis in the absence of cost histories for previous like projects, revising acquisition priorities in response to changing program requirements, negotiating subcontracting issues including utilization of small disadvantaged businesses as sub-contractors, and reinterpreting policies to apply to new or changing circumstances.
    • Independently monitor contract performance, changes, deliverables, schedules, & financial status.
    • Inform senior management of significant actions, anticipated acquisition strategies and potential issues requiring management and/or General Counsel involvement.
    • Manage workload and perform contract management using a host of electronic tools.
    • Maintain continuous learning through training courses, professional activities, attendance at conferences, and speaking to maintain DoD education requirements for continuing learning activities.

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