Government Information Specialist (FOIA)

Sterling, Virginia
Nov 26, 2020
Dec 03, 2020
Full Time


The Bureau of Safety & Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement. For information about our bureau go to:
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This position is located in the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Office of Administration, Office of the Associate Director for Administration. The incumbent serves as a FOIA Specialist and, as such, supports the BSEE FOIA Officer.

At the full performance level (GS-13) the major duties of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
1. Interprets the scope of FOIA requests, identifies the types of records being sought by the requester, and ensures that reasonable, properly documented searches are conducted for responsive records.
2. Serves as the BSEE contact to external FOIA requesters and internal DOI employees to clarify and resolve issues relating to specific FOIA requests or overall FOIA processes and procedures.
3. Assists to coordinate FOIA requests with congressional and court-ordered requests for the BSEE as required.
4. Keeps accurate records of information that has been released or withheld, which may serve as a reference for future requests (to determine whether the material is in the public domain) and to support responses to any potential appeal(s) and/or litigation.
5. Ensures that all of the determinations and actions relating to conducting a search for responsive documents are documented in email or other correspondence that may be produced to the court as exhibits to a sworn declaration executed by the BSEE FOIA Officer.
6. Utilizes electronic tools to search and collect documents and uses electronic tools to review and prepare records for release.
7. Performs critical analyses of responsive documents and ensures that any records responsive to FOIA requests are reviewed consistently with the FOIA and DOI's FOIA regulations, policy, and guidance.

BSEE determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.

Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expenses associated with reporting for duty in this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.

This vacancy may be used to fill additional positions as vacancies become available.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination
  • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.
  • You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  • Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. See


Minimum Qualification Requirements:

To qualify for the GS-13, you must possess at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-12 level in the Federal service, or comparable experience not gained through Federal service. Specialized experience is experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized experience is defined as demonstrated experience: (1) Review and analyze FOIA requests, including the scope and types of records being requested, and create and maintain information in an automated tracking system to manage FOIA requests and records to report on their status; (2) Utilize electronic tools to search for, and collect, FOIA-requested records and perform critical reviews and analyses to determine their responsiveness, whether one or more FOIA exemptions apply to the records, and whether foreseeable harm would result from their release in a timely manner; (3) Assemble and conduct quality control reviews of all proposed withholdings for accuracy and compliance before the Department's response is issued to the FOIA requester; (4) Communicate verbally and in writing with supervisors, Departmental stakeholders and leadership, and representatives from other organizations regarding FOIA issues, including the preparation of FOIA correspondence such as acknowledgement letters, time extension letters, and interim and final response letters.

It is desirable for the applicant to have a legal background.

NOTE: At the GS-13 grade level, education cannot be substituted for experience.

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM's website:

All qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement.

Merit Promotion candidates must also meet Time-in-Grade requirements by the closing date of the announcement.


At the GS-13 grade level, education cannot be substituted for experience.

Additional information

Applicants who include vulgar, offensive, or inappropriate language or information in their application package will be ineligible for further consideration for this position.

Identification of promotion potential in this announcement does not constitute a commitment or an obligation on the part of management to promote the employee selected at some future date. Promotion will depend upon administrative approval and the continuing need for and performance of higher-level duties.

The application contains information subject to the Privacy Act (P.L. 93-579, 5 USC 552a). The information is used to determine qualifications for employment, and is authorized under Title 5, USC, Section 3302 and 3361.

Important Note: All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI employees, GS-15 and above, who work in the Office of the Secretary; along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees (at ALL grade levels), are further restricted concerning their interests in Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in energy corporations which lease Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). If you have any such investments you should contact the DOI, BOEM or BSEE Ethics Office before accepting employment. DOI employees are held to the highest level of integrity. Employees must be objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work-related interactions with friends, family members, or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.

NOTICE: This employer participates in E-Verify and will utilize your Form I-9 information to confirm you are authorized to work in the U.S.
A preliminary background check must be completed before a new employee can begin work with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The preliminary background check consists of a search of Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense background investigation files and an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check; it may take up to 3 weeks to complete. If selected for this position, you will be extended a tentative offer of employment pending a satisfactory background check. Current Federal employees or individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background check; these will be handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the Bureau security office.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation and responses to the online questionnaire will be made. Your responses to the online assessment will be used to measure the degree to which your background matches the requirements for this position. However, your resume must support your responses to the scored occupational questionnaire, or your score may be lowered. The best qualified candidates will be identified for referral to the hiring manager and may be invited for an interview.

Your answers to the on-line assessment will be used to evaluate your competencies in the following areas:

Regulations and Guidance - Comprehensive knowledge of the FOIA and its associated legal requirements. Understand and apply the laws, regulations, policies, and practices governing the FOIA.
Technical Competence - Ability to utilize systems and programs to meet FOIA processing needs. Understand and appropriately apply procedures, requirements, regulations and policies related to FOIA. Knowledge of the manual and electronic systems used for tracking and maintaining FOIA requests.
Manages and Organizes Information - Ability to coordinate multiple, complex processes, and plan and organize work for various periods of time, while consistently meeting deadlines and documenting both completed and ongoing tasks. Ability to independently organize, track, report, and delegate as needed. Set priorities and determine goals and strategies to achieve them, within the parameters set by the OS FOIA Officer and the Deputy Director for Correspondence and FOIA Management. Coordinate and collaborate with stakeholders across the Department to accomplish goals, monitor progress, and evaluate outcomes.
Oral Communication - Ability to express information (i.e., ideas, concepts, facts) to individuals or groups effectively, taking in account the audience and nature of the information (i.e., technical, sensitive, controversial) and their level of expertise; make clear and convincing verbal presentations based on facts and robust documentary evidence; listen to others, attend to nonverbal cues, and respond appropriately.
Written Communication - Ability to expresses facts and ideas in writing in a succinct and organized manner taking into account the audience and nature of the information (i.e., technical, sensitive, controversial) and responds to written communications and inquiries in timely manner, including upon request from supervisors and stakeholders.

Please submit 1) a copy of your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation and 2) a list of any awards (e.g. superior performance awards, special act or achievement awards, quality step increase, etc.) you received in the last 5 years. Any performance appraisal/evaluation and award documentation you provide will be forwarded to the selecting official. The selecting official will review this documentation and give it due weight consideration during the overall selection process.

If you do not have your most recent performance appraisal/evaluation, please submit a statement as to why it is not available. Please indicate if any prior performance appraisals/evaluations were at an acceptable level.

To preview the assessment questionnaire click:

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process
Credentialing , National security

Required Documents

Your resume must contain information sufficient to make a valid determination that you fully meet the specialized experience requirements as stated in this vacancy announcement and OPM qualification standards for each grade level(s) for which you are applying. It is strongly recommended that you use the USAJobs Resume Builder as it was designed to ensure that your resume includes the standard information needed. The Resume Builder is available at

Your application package must include: (1) Resume showing relevant experience as written in your own words; (2) Completed online Assessment Questionnaire; (3) SF-50's showing (1) your highest FPL, and (2) most current SF-50 noting position, grade level, tenure, and duty station. Please note that all SF-50's submitted must show that you are a status candidate or eligible under this announcement. Please refer to the eligibility in the online questionnaire for more information; (3) College transcript (if applicable) for verification of qualifying education. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable; (4) Certificates, license, etc. (if applicable); (5) Form DD-214 OR VA letter and Standard Form 15, if eligible under VEOA or VRA; (6) Proof of eligibility if applying under a special appointing authority; (7) Current or former Government employees are strongly encouraged to submit a recent performance appraisal.

NOTE: Applicants claiming eligibility under VEOA or VRA, must submit a copy of your DD-214, "Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty," (Member 4 copy is preferred), showing the dates of active duty, type of discharge, and character of service (must be honorable); OR acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 10% or more).

NOTE: Applicants claiming eligibility based on 30% or more service connected disability, you are required to submit documentation that is indicated on the SF-15 as acceptable proof of verification of your preference (i.e., official document, dated 1991 or later, from the Department of Veterans Affairs, or from a branch of the Armed Forces, certifying that the veterans total combined serviced-connected disability rating is 30% or more.
You will find additional information on the following topics: (1) e-Verify; (2) Selective Service; (3) CTAP/ICTAP; (4) Education - accreditation; (5) Foreign education; (6) Veterans preference; (7) Special appointing authority documentation; and more can be found on our web site: OR .

If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran's preference) on the rating criteria for this position.

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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