SAS Programmer

Washington, D.C
Oct 16, 2021
Oct 24, 2021
Full Time


The Office of Research and Data (ORD) is the largest unit in the Commission, with approximately 45 employees. The SAS Programmer (SP) will provide advanced programming support to ORD research staff.
Learn more about this agency


ORD is the largest unit in the Commission, with approximately 45 employees. ORD staff collect data from sentencing documents which are submitted electronically by federal courts around the country. ORD staff provide statistical analyses to the Commissioners about the nature and extent of federal crime, the people who commit those crimes, and how the federal sentencing guidelines are applied in criminal cases. ORD's analyses are a key part of the Commission's decision-making process about changes to the guidelines. ORD analyses are also used in various publicly available publications such as the Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics , Quarterly Sentencing Updates , Quick Facts , and various reports to Congress.

The SAS Programmer (SP) will provide advanced programming support to ORD research staff. Specifically, the SP is responsible for extracting data from the Commission's Oracle data warehouse to create various analytical files for research staff. The SP will be responsible for creating, updating, and maintaining SAS programs created to generate automated annual and quarterly reports. The SP is responsible for creating SAS programs to fulfill special data requests from Commissioners, federal judges, probation officers, members of Congress, and other federal agencies. The SP will assist with the work of Commission policy teams or Congressional report projects by creating advanced SAS programs to support research staff. The SP will assist in the preparation of statistical tables, graphic displays, presentations, and published reports. At times, the SP may be required to present findings internally to policy teams, senior staff, and other key stakeholders. Additionally, the SP will be expected to provide SAS training to research staff as needed. To fulfill these duties, the SP is expected to have expertise in SAS programming and become an expert in the Commission's various datafiles.

The incumbent will work with research staff to:
  • Modify and create programs to extract data from the Commission's Oracle data warehouse and create offender-based flat files in SAS.
  • Create new SAS programs as well as modify existing SAS programs.
  • Utilize advanced SAS programming techniques to improve the generalizability and efficiency of SAS programs.
  • Match/Merge datafiles from multiple sources and/or in multiple formats.
  • Assist in the timely response to special requests from Commissioners, Congress, the courts, and others, as directed.
  • Create PDFs and EXCEL spreadsheets of SAS output, tables, and figures.
  • Compile, organize, and document datafiles and assist in the preparation of statistical tables, graphic displays, and presentations.
  • Analyze quantitative data and contribute to published reports.
  • Provide SAS training to ORD staff.
  • Review SAS programs written by ORD staff members for possible programming errors.
  • Meet with research associates to discuss data quality issues and use feedback to create new edits to improve data quality.
  • Review existing data for errors and perform quality and validation checks on datafiles.
  • Perform quality and validation checks on the Commission's Interactive Data Analyzer (IDA).
  • Learn and implement new technology, such as new SAS procedures and techniques.

Travel Required

Not required

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • This position is not remote and requires the selected applicant to report, in person, to the agency duty location.
  • This position is in the excepted service and does not carry the tenure rights of positions in the competitive Civil Service.
  • All information is subject to verification. Applicants are advised that false answers or omissions of information on application materials or inability to meet the following conditions may be grounds for non-selection, withdrawal of an offer of employment, or dismissal after being employed.
  • Selection for this position is contingent upon completion of OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment during the pre-employment process and proof of U.S. citizenship or, for noncitizens, proof of authorization to work in the United States and proof of entitlement to receive compensation. Additional information on the employment of non-citizens can be found at: . For a list of documents that may be used to provide proof of citizenship or authorization to work in the United States, please refer to .
  • A background security investigation is required for all selectees. Appointment will be subject to a selectee's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements may be grounds for appropriate personnel action. A background security reinvestigation or supplemental investigation may be required at a later time.
  • All new Commission employees must identify a financial institution for direct deposit of pay before appointment, mandated by the Federal Compensation Act.
  • All new Commission employees, those converted from a temporary appointment to a permanent appointment, and all rehired former Commission employees are required to serve a one-year probationary period. The probationary period begins on the effective date of the employee's appointment, conversion, or rehire.
  • Applicant must relocate to the Washington DC Metropolitan area.


  • Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college as well as satisfactory completion of course work in statistics and/or methodology.
  • Applicants must have a minimum of five years of SAS computer programming experience while working in a professional work environment.
  • Applicants must also have experience in the following areas:
    • SAS programming experience must include working with manipulating and analyzing quantitative data in data steps such as subset datafiles, creating collapsed or dummy variables, utilizing IF/THEN statements and DO-loops, finding means/medians, and writing macros.
    • Experience with data quality control and/or data cleaning.
    • Experience creating tables and charts in SAS, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel, and using formulas in Excel.
    • Experience matching or merging datafiles.
    • Experience using ARRAY function.
    • Experience using SAS procedures to create data reports, graphs, and maps ( e.g. , PROC REPORT, TABULATE, GMAP, SGPLOT, and/r SAS ODS).
  • Applicants must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the next lower level of the grade for which they are applying. For example, to qualify for the GS-13, one year of specialized experience must have been at the GS-12 level or equivalent.

Preference will be given to applicants with the following areas of experience:
  • Experience extracting data from an Oracle database.
  • Experience with SQL.
  • Experience with SAS Viya.
  • Formal training in criminology, sociology, or a closely-related field.
  • Experience working for the courts or a criminal justice agency.


Applicants must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college as well as satisfactory completion of course work in statistics and/or methodology.

Additional information

The Commission participates in the following federal benefits: The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program; the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP), the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program, federal retirement, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), and the federal leave program. In addition, the Commission participates in the Judiciary's Flexible Spending Program for dependent care, health care, and commuter reimbursement, the Judiciary's Long Term Care Program or government-wide Long Term Care Insurance Program, unemployment, and workers' compensation benefits.

The Commission offers a monthly transit subsidy to employees who use mass transit to commute to and from work, subject to the availability of funds. The Commission offers alternative work schedules (AWS), which are fixed work schedules that enable full-time employees to complete the basic 80-hour biweekly work requirement in less than 10 workdays as well as the option for regular or situational telework. Employees are eligible for situational telework immediately. This position will be telework eligible in accordance with the Commission's telework policy.

The Commission also offers training opportunities to employees through the Judiciary and Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts (AOUSC) Online University (JOU Online University), which offers academic credit and professional credit programs through web-based learning. This online training tool assists employees of the Commission with taking online courses in a flexible way, by offering training courses in the areas of: staff training and development; credit toward undergraduate degree programs; continuing education and non-credit certificate programs; executive education; contract training; credit credentials courses for continuing professional education and credit for individuals who hold credentials and achieve certifications associated with several globally-recognized sponsored organizations. In addition, the Commission has an account with the LinkedIn Learning on-line training site, and Commission employees are encouraged to take approved job-related courses on that site during the workday. Commission employees also have access to the entire LinkedIn Learning library available to them during non-work hours.

How You Will Be Evaluated

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

The Commission evaluates applicants through a structured interview. Applicants may also be screened for some jobs through a narrative/application review, and/or a preliminary telephone interview. In order to be considered for this position, applicants must address the mandatory and preferred qualifications in the questionnaire on USAjobs as a separate submission from resume and cover letter.

Applicants who do not address the qualification requirements (mandatory and preferred) in his or her application materials as stated in the vacancy announcement are automatically disqualified from consideration and must re-apply before the closing date to be considered for employment.

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Required Documents

Applicants must supply a detailed resume, as well as a cover letter that addresses all of the qualification requirements listed in the announcement. If available, please provide college transcripts and a recent job performance evaluation.

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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