Counsel to the Inspector General

Washington, D.C
Feb 17, 2021
Feb 24, 2021
Full Time


This Senior Executive Service (SES) position is located in the U.S. EPA-Office of Inspector General, Office of Counsel in Washington, DC. For more information on this office, visit their website:

If selected, you must work at the location stated in this announcement.

Learn more about this agency


The Office of Inspector General is an independent and objective organization within the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that helps the Agency protect human health and the environment in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. We perform audits and investigations of the EPA to promote economy and efficiency, and to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse. We strive to provide solutions to problems that ultimately result in making America a cleaner and healthier place. And we are committed to keeping the Agency, Congress, and our stakeholders fully and currently informed about challenges and deficiencies and the necessity for and progress of corrective actions.

As Counsel to the Inspector General, you will:

- Serve as Counsel to the Inspector General, providing the full range of legal and advisory services with respect to policy, regulations, practices, or other matters falling broadly within the Office's mission.

- Provide legal advice and executive direction on a variety of substantive and procedural matters relating to the Office's audit, program evaluation, investigation, and public liaison activities.

- Represent the Office in administrative litigation before the Merit Systems Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and the U.S. Department of Labor, and provide representation in other forums as well.

- Represent the agency before the Department of Justice, Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency, state and local governments, and other organizations.

- Manage the Office's ethics program by providing ethics training, advice, and financial disclosure reviews, coordinating the Office's responses to the Freedom of Information Act and other document requests, and overseeing OIG hotline program.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel in support of agency mission on behalf of the Inspector General.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • You will be required to obtain and maintain a Top Secret clearance.
  • You must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Pre-employment drug testing is required and random testing thereafter.

Current or former career Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, with reinstatement eligibility, or candidates who have successfully completed a SES Career Development Program approved by OPM are not required to address the Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs), however you must still address the Technical Qualifications. All other applicants must submit narrative statements covering each of the Executive Core Qualifications and Technical Qualifications in order to receive consideration for the position. Failure to address these specific qualifications in a separate narrative statement will eliminate you from consideration.

When responding to the Technical Qualifications and the Executive Core Qualifications, you must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of this position by submitting narrative responses in which you detail your experience in each of the Technical Qualifications and Executive Core Qualifications. Your examples should be clear and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope and complexity of programs managed, program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts. You should limit your narrative to TWO pages per Executive Core Qualifications, and not more than 10 pages total. Technical Mandatory and/or Desirable factors should be limited to no more than ONE page for each factor.

For help in writing responses to ECQ's, applicants are strongly encouraged to review OPM's Guide to SES Qualifications at the following website: The section, "Writing Executive Qualification Statements", begins on Page 8 of the Guide.

The Ethics in Government Act, PL 95-521 requires the applicant selected for this position to submit a financial disclosure statement, SF-278, prior to assuming the SES position, annually, and upon termination of employment.Senior Executive Service Requirements:


Specialized Experience Requirement:

To be qualified for this position, you must clearly show at least one year of prior experience in a managerial capacity with responsibility for providing supervisory direction to attorneys with functional responsibility for providing support for legal sufficiency determinations and third-party litigation support on administrative, civil, and criminal proceedings. This experience must evidence sophisticated analytical skills, superior written and oral communication skills, strong legal judgment, and experience in interacting with government and non-government officials. You must clearly show in your resume how you meet this specialized experience requirement.

MANDATORY TECHNICAL QUALIFICATIONS - Please provide a narrative not to exceed one page per TQ.

TQ 1. Demonstrated experience in preparing or reviewing referrals on administrative, civil, and criminal matters, and in drafting or reviewing subpoenas, search warrants, and other investigative tools.

TQ 2. Demonstrated experience advising or representing an organization before the Merit System Protection Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the U.S. Department of Labor, and other forums on employment issues and advising or representing an organization on matters related to the Freedom of Information Act/ Touhy , the Privacy Act, environmental law, subpoena enforcement, or other legal issues.

Desirable Qualifications,

Strong commitment to ethics and integrity.

EXECUTIVE CORE QUALIFICATIONS - Please provide a narrative not to exceed two pages per ECQ .

1. LEADING CHANGE: This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent to this Executive Core Qualification Is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement It In a continuously changing environment.

Leadership Competencies:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • External Awareness
  • Flexibility
  • Resilience
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Vision

2. LEADING PEOPLE: This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent to this Executive Core Qualification is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution or conflicts.

Leadership Competencies:
  • Conflict Management
  • Leveraging Diversity
  • Developing Others
  • Team Building

3. RESULTS DRIVEN: This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent to this Executive Core Qualification is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

Leadership Competencies:
  • Accountability
  • Customer Service
  • Decisiveness
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Problem Solving
  • Technical Credibility

4. BUSINESS ACUMEN: This core qualification Involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

Leadership Competencies:
  • Financial Management
  • Human Capital Management
  • Technology Management

5. BUILDING COALITIONS: This core qualifications involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and Local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

Leadership Competencies:
  • Partnering
  • Political Savvy
  • Influencing/Negotiating

Fundamental Competencies · These competencies are the foundation for success In each of the Executive Core Qualifications.

a. Interpersonal Skills
Treats others with courtesy, sensitivity, and respect. Considers and responds appropriately to the needs and feelings of different people in different situations.

b. Oral Communication
Makes clear and convincing oral presentations. Listens effectively; clarifies information as needed.

c. Integrity/Honesty
Behaves in an honest, fair, and ethical manner. Shows consistency in words and actions. Models high standards of ethics.

d. Written Communications
Writes in a clear, concise, organized, and convincing manner for the intended audience.

e. Continual Learning
Assesses and recognizes own strengths and weaknesses;pursues self-development.


To be qualified for this position, applicants must have a J.D. degree.

Law License Requirement:

You must be duly licensed and authorized to practice as an attorney under the law of a state, territory, or the District of Columbia. You must provide your law license indicating the state, date of admission, and license number in the questionnaire and uploaded as part of your application package in order to be considered.

Additional information

EPA participates in E-Verify. E-Verify is an Internet based system operated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA) that enables participating employers to electronically verify the employment eligibility of their newly hired employees. For additional information: EPA Announcement Policies and Procedures.

It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual's employment experience will be used only to determine the person's qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual's personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information, visit Mythbuster on Federal Hiring Policies.

This information is used to determine your qualifications for employment. The use of this information is authorized under Title 5 USC, Sections 3302 and 3361.

Probationary Period:

Selectee must serve a one-year probationary period unless s/he previously completed one year the Senior Executive Service.

This position is not in the bargaining unit.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

The EPA OIG uses the traditional ECQ based evaluation method. If you meet the basic requirements, your application will be forwarded to an SES Rating Panel for rating and ranking based on your narrative responses to the TQs and ECQs. The Executive Resources Board recommends the best qualified candidates to the selecting official for consideration. You will be notified of the outcome of your application.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
Top Secret

Drug test required

Required Documents

You must submit a narrative statement covering each of the Technical Qualifications (TQ) and Executive Core Qualifications (ECQ) questions in order to receive consideration for the position. Your narrative statements may not exceed ONE page per TQ. Your narrative statements may not exceed TWO pages per ECQ.
  • Technical Qualifications (TQs) - Required for all applicants - Limited to one page per factor.
  • Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) - Required for competitive applicants - Limited to two pages per ECQ and not more than ten pages total.

Resume - Mandatory: Please limit your resume to no more than five (5) pages. In addition to answering the mandatory Technical Competencies' and Executive Core Qualifications above, applicants MUST SUBMIT A RESUME.

If you exceed the page limit for your resume, TQs and ECQs or fail to address all of the TQs or ECQs your application will be disqualified.

Graduates of an approved SES Candidate Development Program must include a copy of their OPM certification of eligibility (Failure to submit will eliminate you from further consideration).

Current or former SES Career employees must include a copy of their SF-50 that indicates their SES Career appointment under Title 5 (Failure to submit will eliminate you from further consideration).

Current or former Federal employee must provide a copy of a recent SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, which indicates Federal status, grade, tenure, and type of service.

Do not submit any additional documents. Unsolicited documents will not be considered.

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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