Contract Specialist

Arlington, Virginia
Feb 23, 2021
Mar 26, 2021
Full Time

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Management Bureau/Office of Acquisition and Assistance (M/OAA) seeks to procure services of a Contract Specialist to support the ongoing work in the Office of Acquisition and Assistance to support multiple offices and divisions within USAID. The Contract Specialist will serve in M/OAA. The Contract Specialist will be responsible for all pre-award and post-award functions involving highly complex negotiated procurements for designated offices and divisions. Requirements of the contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and inter-agency agreements are typically specialized and involve complex systems or sensitive international programs funded through USAID.

The Contract Specialist will report to the designated Government point of contract (GPOC) and will be responsible for implementing all phases of the acquisition/assistance lifecycle for designated awards. The Contract Specialist is responsible for ensuring that acquisition and assistance instruments are completed, negotiated, executed, and administered in a timely and effective manner that ensures implementation leading to the most efficient and effective achievement of results. The Contract Specialist must have a strong sense of responsibility, a high customer service standard, be highly organized, pay close attention to detail, and be able to complete tasks with minimal guidance. The Contract Specialist must have a thorough understanding and knowledge of acquisition laws, principles, policies, regulations and procedures to plan and manage acquisition instruments which have a variety of multi-million dollar funding levels; are of critical importance and require the resolution of various issues and problems for which few precedents exist. The Contract Specialist is expected to successfully manage all stages of the acquisition and assistance process to ensure compliance with Federal Regulations and USAID policy and procedures.


Duties and Responsibilities:
  • The work is characterized by breadth of planning, review, communication and coordination or depth of problem identification and analysis, stemming from the variety of the procurement functions or from the unknowns, changes, or conflicts inherent in the issues. Decisions involve responsiveness to continuing changes in programs. Procurements typically require new or modified contract terms and conditions, funding arrangements, or policy interpretation throughout the pre-award or post-award phases.
  • Responsible for the full breadth of administrative and management functions associated with new and on-going activities as they relate to various types of acquisition and assistance instruments both abroad and in Washington, D.C.
  • The designated GPOC sets the overall objectives of the work as well as the available resources. The Contract Specialist , in consultation with the GPOC, develops specific objectives and priorities.
  • The Contract Specialist independently plans and carries out the work, selecting the approaches and techniques to be used, and informs the supervisor of progress and significant problems. Work is evaluated on the degree to which program and regulatory requirements are met.
  • The Contract Specialist will assist with a variety of acquisition and assistance actions ranging from participating on a procurement team for a new award to post-award administration. Liaison between the business and technical office to assist in the development and preparation of a variety of acquisition documents to include, but not limited to: Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs), Justification and Approvals (J&A) determinations and findings (D&F), Performance Work Statements (PWS), Statements of Work, (SOW), and solicitation documents.
  • Assistance with new procurements will include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Procurement Planning: Serves as part of a team that advises program officials or staff in regular procurement planning meetings. Advises program officials of the procurement instruments to be used and assists in the preparation of statements of work. Collaborates in the development of evaluation criteria. Additionally, their procurement planning duties will include, but is not limited to developing contract requirements and RFPs and performing market research.
  • Develop and Publish Notifications of Solicitations: Under the guidance and approval of the designated GPOC, CO/AO and relevant technical advisor, the Contract Specialist will assemble and publish Notifications of Funding Opportunities (NOFO) and Requests for Proposals (RFP) which must specify technical program description of the award, deadline for proposals/applications, submission criteria and processes, selection procedures and evaluation criteria. All solicitations must be approved before posting by the USAID CO/AO, the Technical chair, as well as the relevant technical advisor. The contractor will post NOFOs on the government-wide point of entry ( and RFP/RFQs on (https://www.fbo. ( gov ( ). If authorized by the USAID CO and Technical chair, the Contract Specialist may also advertise the solicitations via other distribution channels. The Contract Specialist is also responsible for any other designated duties, as identified by the designated GPOC, CO/AO and relevant technical advisor. The Contract Specialist is also responsible to assist in the development and review process for Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) with the Agreement/Contracting Officer and technical personnel.
  • Respond to Applicant/Offeror Questions: Under the guidance and approval of the AO/CO and Technical chair, the Contract Specialist must document and respond to all applicant/offeror questions related to the solicitations. The Contractor must create appropriate amendments in response to applicant/offeror questions.
  • Facilitate the Technical Evaluation Process: Once the NOFO/RFP has closed, the Contract Specialist must:
  • Provide written acknowledgement of receipt.
  • Screen all applications/proposals for basic eligibility requirements and compliance, in accordance with guidelines provided by USAID.
  • Compile the applications/proposals and distribute them to the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC) composed of GH or mission staff.
  • Brief the TEC on selection committee procedures.
  • Asist in finalizing the TEC memo.
  • Coordination with the TEC: The Contract Specialist will serve as TEC coordinator for RFP/NOFOs, as assigned, having the primary responsibility to ensure that all requisite materials are available for the USAID TEC members.
  • Evaluation of proposals/applications: The Contract Specialist will provide cost/price analysis, draft competitive range, and source selection memorandum. The Contract Specialist shall expertly and accurately document negotiations and competitive range determinations. As necessary, apply cost and price procedures and techniques to evaluate contract proposals for a variety of contract types to include but not limited to firm fixed price and cost-plus type contracts to evaluate contract proposals
  • Negotiation and Award: All agreements and contracts will be reviewed, awarded, and obligated by an assigned USAID Agreement/Contracting Officer. Depending on the needs of USAID, the contractor may become involved in activities associated with contract/agreement negotiation and award. Potential agreement/contract negotiation and award activities include:
  • Prepare competitive range and source selection documentation as appropriate
  • Prepare Memorandum of Negotiation
  • Prepare award documentation
  • Notify Unsuccessful Applicants/Offerors: Upon AO/CO approval, Contractor will notify all successful and unsuccessful offerors/applicants of their status
  • Debriefing: The Contract Specialist will facilitate a debriefing to unsuccessful applicants/offerors if requested.
  • Award Administration: The Contract Specialist will assist the relevant CO/AO with the day to day administration of contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants by preparing administrative actions for CO/AO review and signature. Award administration also includes maintaining award files, as well as maintaining and updating administrative action tracker. Administrative actions include, but are not limited to:
  • Coordinate, assemble, and update electronic and hard copy contracts and contract related files which may require using contract writing systems such as PRISM and other automated systems to draft contract documents and amendments.
  • Provide technical assistance to the Contracting Officer prior to and during negotiations, consisting of analysis, data collection, and drafting records of negotiations.
  • Prepare modifications, both unilateral and complex bilateral modifications, such as modifications in scope, specification changes, language ambiguities, incremental funding actions, change in key personnel, extensions, clarification of contract clauses and others.
  • Subaward approvals
  • Salary approvals
  • Waivers
  • Policy Research, Analysis, and Interpretation: Researches and analyzes a factual procurement policy or procedural question and provides advice on appropriate procurement methods and procedures.
  • Responds to protests by researching and developing necessary analysis, documentation, and history.
  • Works with the General Council (GC) in preparing the Agency's position and Contracting Officer reports to support the Government's defense on protests to the GAO.
  • Developing budget execution strategies:
  • Conduct research, assess and develop approaches and strategies related to budget planning, development, assessments, and support as identified and designated by GPOC.
  • Other duties as assigned

  • High School Diploma or GED
  • 4+ years of experience in federal contracting and 1+ year of specialized experience at or equivalent to at least a GS 12. Specialized experience at this level includes:
  • Advanced proficiency in conducting cost analysis/cost realism
  • Leading a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) or for a competitive Request for Application (RFA)/Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), or an equivalent/similar process

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
  • Ability to obtain a Secret clearance
  • Ability to travel
  • Knowledge of federal contracting and assistance principles, laws, statutes, Executive Orders, regulations and procedures applicable to pre-award and/or post-award actions sufficient to procure and/or administer contracts, grants and cooperative agreements for a variety of special duct studies of problem areas and develop standard methods and operating procedures
  • Must be able to work independently in a highly demanding environment and capable of handling tasks with varying deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Ability to work independently with little supervision
  • Ability to work calmly, tactfully and effectively under pressure and to demonstrate extreme flexibility to manage more than one activity at a time is essential
  • Ability to work collegially with cognizant technical officers, peers, and supervisors with good interpersonal
  • Ability to lead team and provide strategic advice on highly complex, time sensitive procurements
  • Must be able to communicate complex and difficult policy and programmatic issues understandable by knowledgeable laypersons without oversimplifying
  • Ability to conduct contract negotiations
  • Demonstrated skills in managerial and coordinative activities sufficient to conduct a variety of contractual actions occurring concurrently, is essential
  • Excellent oral and written English communications skills and proven ability to produce technical documents are required
  • Proficient with computers, especially Word and EXCEL is a must
  • Familiarity with business practices and market conditions applicable to program and technical requirements
  • Knowledge of the following is strongly encouraged:
  • USAID Acquisition Regulations (AIDAR)
  • Contract Information Bulletins (CIBS) / Acquisition & Assistance Policy
  • Directives (AAPDs)
  • Office of Procurement Administrative Memoranda (OPAMS)
  • USAID Automated Directive System (ADS)
  • Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular
  • Title 22, Code of Federal Regulations as appropriate to USAID

Physical Demands: (The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.)
  • While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit and talk or hear. The employee is frequently required to walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel and reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to stand; climb or balance and stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

Work Environment: (The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.)
  • The employee will normally work in a temperature-controlled office environment, with frequent exposure to electronic office equipment.
  • During visits to areas of operations, may be exposed to extreme cold or hot weather conditions. Is occasionally exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals, and loud noise.
  • #Chenega Worldwide Support, LLC

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