Contract Specialist

Arlington, Virginia
Jun 20, 2019
Jun 27, 2019
Full Time


This position is part of the Contract Management Office (CMO) and the incumbent, a warranted contracting officer, is 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, international contracting and other unique DARPA contracting situations in support of DARPA's mission.
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This position is part of the Contract Management Office (CMO) which plans, negotiates, executes, and awards procurement contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and Other Transactions for selected new-start technology projects, consortium projects, and other cooperative projects where innovative or special contractual arrangements are desired. In addition to normal contract and grant/agreement authorities, CMO may operate under special Congressional statutory authority 10 U.S.C 2371 to conduct research projects using Other Transactions, an acquisition instrument not governed by the Federal Acquisition Regulation, and under 10 U.S.C. 2371b authority, which allows DoD organizations to utilize 10 U.S.C. 2371 for defense prototype projects.

As a CONTRACT SPECIALIST GS-1102-14, some of your typical work assignments may include:
  • Serve as the principal acquisition advisor to technical clients, providing expertise on use of Other Transactions in non-procurement and prototyping situations.
  • Active involvement 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 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 and perform cost analysis,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.
  • Serves as the principal acquisition representative for a primary technical office, but also assists DARPA's technical offices in matters related to acquisitions and assistance.
  • 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.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - You may be expected to travel for this position.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • 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
  • Work Schedule: Fulltime
  • Overtime: Occasionally
  • Tour of Duty: Set Sechedule
  • Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA): Exempt
  • Financial Disclosure: Required
  • Telework Eligibility: This position is eligible for situational telework only
  • Must obtain/maintain a Special Sensitive Top Secret with SCI clearance
  • This is a drug tested position


You may qualify at the GS-14, if you fulfill the following qualifications:

Basic Education Requirements for GS-5 through GS-15 positions:

A. A bachelor's degree from an accredited educational institution authorized to grant baccalaureate degrees.
B. 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. (This requirement can be obtained within the bachelor's degree or in addition to the degree.)

NOTE: The education requirements listed above apply only to individuals entering DoD 1102 positions on or after October 1, 2000. Current civilian personnel in DoD, who occupied GS-1102 positions or contracting positions with authority to award or administer contracts above the simplified acquisition threshold in an Executive Department on or before September 30, 2000, are exempt from meeting this requirement. Current military members who occupied a similar occupational specialty to the GS-1102 on or before September 30, 2000, are also exempt from meeting this requirement.

*NOTE: Failure to provide transcripts will result in you being rated ineligible for this position.

Specialized Experience: To be creditable, specialized experience must be at the GS-13 grade level or equivalent under other pay systems in the Federal service, military or private sector. Creditable specialized experience includes:

-Experience establishing acquisition strategy, awarding and administering complex research and development procurement contracts;

-Experience with pre-award planning, negotiation, awarding and administering other unique and innovative award instruments such as, procurement contracts, grants, cooperative and other transactions.

Basic Qualification Requirements for Contracting Officer Positions: In addition to meeting the basic educational requirements listed above, applicants must have completed two years of experience in contracting positions, and must have completed all contracting courses for positions at the level and grade at which the person is serving. Certification at this level is sufficient to meet this standard. Refer to DoD 5000.52M, Defense Acquisition Education, Training and Career Development Program, for further guidance on certification.

Selective Placement Factor:
In addition to the basic requirement and specialized experience reflected above, candidates must also meet the Selective Placement Factor required for this position: Must possess experience managing complex high dollar value acquisition programs and awarding procurement contracts.

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.

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

Additional information

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 prior to hiring is not essential but must be accomplished within 24 months after entry into this position.

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

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Programs: This program applies to employees who have been involuntarily separated from a Federal service position within the competitive service or Federal service employees whose positions have been deemed surplus or no longer needed. To receive selection priority for this position, you must: 1) meet ICTAP eligibility criteria; 2) be rated well-qualified for the position with a score of 85 or above; and 3) submit the appropriate documentation to support your ICTAP eligibility. For more information:

Males born after 12-31-59 must be registered or exempt from Selective Service (see

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

We will review your resume and supporting documents, to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements. We will evaluate each applicant who meets the basic qualifications on the information provided and evaluate your relevant work experiences as it relates to fundamental competencies, identified below, required for this position.

Contract Award, Determination of How Best to Satisfy Requirements for the Mission Area, Influencing/Negotiating, and Problem Solving

Traditional rating and ranking of applications does not apply to this vacancy. Your application (resume and supporting documentation) will be evaluated to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications required as listed on the announcement under qualification requirements.

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to veterans preference, you should indicate the type of veterans' preference you are claiming on your resume. Your veterans' preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.

For information on entitlement see

Military Spouse Preference: If you are entitled to military spouse preference, in order to receive this preference you must choose the spousal eligibility in your application package referencing MSP Military Spouse Preference. Your preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency. If you are claiming military spouse preference and qualified for the position, your name will be placed below preference eligible veteran candidates and above non-preference candidates on a list sent to the hiring manager for employment consideration. To claim Military Spouse Preference (MSP) please complete the Military Spouse PPP Self-Certification Checklist

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Special-Sensitive (SS)/High Risk

Trust determination process
National security

Required Documents

The documents you are required to submit vary based on the authority you are using to apply (i.e., applying as a veteran, applying as a current permanent Federal employee, applying as a reinstatement, etc).

Your complete application includes your COMPLETE resume, your responses to the online questionnaire, and documents which prove your eligibility to apply. If you fail to provide these documents, you will be marked as having an incomplete application package and you will not be considered any further.

The following documents are REQUIRED
1. Your resume:
  • Your resume may be submitted in any format. It must include your name and contact information and support the specialized experience described in this announcement.
  • For qualifications determinations your resume must contain the number of hours worked per week and the dates of employment (i.e.," HRS per week and month/year" or "HRS per week and month/year to present").
  • For additional information see: What to include in your resume.
2. Transcripts
  • This position has a degree or education requirement so you are required to submit a copy of your transcript
3. Veteran's Documents
  • If applying using veteran's preference or under a Veteran's hiring authority you must submit the following documents:
  • DD214 showing character of service, SF-15 Form and VA letter showing final percentage, or certification of expected discharge or release from active duty.

If you are claiming Military Spouse Preference, you must submit supporting documents with your application package. These documents must provide acceptable information to verify: you reside within the commuting area of your sponsor's permanent duty station (PDS); proof of marriage to the active duty sponsor, proof of military member's active duty status, and other documentation required by the vacancy announcement to which you are applying; and must meet all pre-employment criteria and be eligible for immediate noncompetitive appointment to a position in the competitive service. Documentation required: Marriage Certificate or License, Signed Self-Certification Checklist, Veterans' Preference documentation (e.g., DD-214, VA Letter, Statement of Service, if applicable), Transcripts (if applicable). Additional documentation required if previously held a federal position: SF-50s (e.g., LWOP, highest grade held, overseas appointments, etc.), SF-75 Information, and documentation of performance rating of record (dated within the last 12 months)

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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