Contract Specialist (Contracting Officer)

Washington, D.C
Jan 12, 2022
Jan 20, 2022
Full Time

Responsible for developing and making recommendations for the development of a contract program, including necessary resources and manpower to meet the goals of the centralized contracting program.

Serves as advisor and approving official to program staff to facilitate an Advanced Procurement plan, maintaining current acquisition plan, appropriate milestone charts and related schedules, ensuring adequate resources are available and services are obtained to best meet the needs of the Government.

Functions as the resident technical expert for contracting issues when developing and coordinating pre-negotiation strategy with technical specialists and representatives from the respective program area.

Analyzes settlement proposals, audit reports, technical evaluations and subcontractor claims when applicable.

Investigates problems, disputes and/or labor violations, determines alternative courses of action, prepares impact statements and recommends a pre-negotiation settlement position to higher authority and/or where warranted, terminating contracts assigned for default and/or convenience.

Performs contract management reviews and conducts studies of problem areas.

Prepares negotiation positions through analysis of contractors' proposals by in depth cost/price analysis, profit analysis through developing weighted guidelines in determining risk; overhead analysis considering allocable, allowable and reasonable costs in accordance with the Cost Accounting Standards, manpower loading, equipment costs and means and methods of accomplishing work.

Must be aware of recent trends in regulations and decisions by the Comptroller General, the U. S. Court of Claims and the Board of Contract Appeals.

Manages, performs, and develops policies and procedures for work involving the evaluation of contract price proposals for procurement of services, construction, complex technical information technology and telecommunication systems and supplies for the Bureau of Prisons (BOP).


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship is Required.
  • See Special Conditions of Employment Section
  • Selective Service Requirement:

Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP). The ICTAP provides eligible displaced Federal competitive service employees with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your agency has notified you in writing that you are a displaced employee eligible for ICTAP consideration, you may receive selection priority if: 1)this vacancy is within your ICTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and score 85 or better on established ranking criteria. You must provide proof of eligibility with your application of ICTAP eligibility or a copy of your separation personnel action form. Additional information about ICTAP eligibility is at: Click Here

The Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) provides eligible surplus and displaced competitive service employees in the Department of Justice with selection priority over other candidates for competitive service vacancies. If your Department of Justice component has notified you in writing that you are a surplus or displaced employee eligible for CTAP eligibility, you may receive selection priority if: 1) this vacancy is within your CTAP eligibility; 2) you apply under the instructions in this announcement; and 3) you are found well qualified for this vacancy. To be well qualified, you must satisfy all qualification requirements for the vacant position and score 85 or better on established ranking criteria. You must provide a copy of your written notification of CTAP eligibility with your application. Additional information about CTAP eligibility is at: Click Here


To be considered for the position, you must meet the following:

Basic Requirements:

A. A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree with a major in any field.

NOTE: A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree is defined as possession of a bachelor's degree conferred or approved by an accredited U.S. college or university based on a 4 year course of study. Simply being enrolled and working toward a degree does not meet the qualification standard.


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.

NOTE: When academic credit is expressed in contract months, units, or other items that differ from conventional semester or other terms that differ from conventional semester or quarter hours, it is the responsibility of the applicant to provide an interpretation of such credits from the appropriate institution in order to equate them to the semester or quarter hours specified in the standard.

Acceptability of Higher Education: Education such as foreign education, home study and correspondence courses, academic credit for work experience, military education, continuing education units, life experience, etc., is acceptable to the extent that it is determined to be equivalent to conventional higher education programs of U.S. institutions. Such education must be accepted for college-level credit by an accredited U.S. college or university.

Exception: Employees currently occupying a GS-1102 position at grades 5 through 12 since January 1, 2000, is considered to have met the basic requirements for other GS-1102 positions up to and including those classified at the GS-12 level. This includes positions at other agencies and promotions up through grade 12. However, employees must meet specialized experience requirements when seeking another position.

NOTE: Applicants that meet the basic education requirements for Grades 5 through 12 only and are applying for a position with promotion potential to the GS-13 can be non-competitively promoted to the GS-13 level once ALL basic requirements for the GS-13 have been met.

Bureau of Prisons employees currently occupying a Contract Specialist position on an approved waiver submit a copy of the waiver prior to the closing date of this announcement. Contract Specialists who do not possess a four year degree and the required 24 semester hours, may apply and be considered for a waiver of the educational requirements. The waiver is discretionary tool available to the Procurement Executive as such does not constitute automatic approval.

NOTE: Current federal employees not employed by the Bureau of Prisons and former Bureau of Prisons' Employees MUST submit documentation (i.e., SF-50(s) covering the period from January 1, 2000) for verification of the above referenced exception criteria to receive consideration. Failure to provide these documents will result in non-consideration for this vacancy.


In addition to the basic requirements, you must have one of the following:


GS-11: Three (3) full academic years of progressively higher level graduate education or Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.

Graduate Education: To qualify for this position on the basis of graduate education, graduate education in one or a combination of the following fields is required: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

GS-12: There is no substitution of education for specialized experience for this grade level.



GS-11 and GS-12: In addition to the basic requirements, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent in difficulty and complexity to the next lower grade level in federal service. To be creditable, this experience must have equipped the applicant with the particular qualifications to perform successfully the duties of the position and must typically be in or related to the position to be filled.

Some examples of this qualifying experience are:

  • Experience as a contract specialist responsible for all aspects of the contracting transactions from initiation to recommendation of award for an agency, a department, or departments, procuring a variety of supplies, services and/or construction in support of an installation or activity.
  • Experience in reviewing requisitions and determining the appropriate method of procurement, i.e., formal advertised or negotiation, including citing the authority in determinations and finding reports prepared for the contracting officer when procurement is by negotiation.
  • Experience developing procurement plans by reviewing previous history, market conditions, and specifications or technical data packages.
  • Experience preparing and issuing solicitation documents, selecting appropriate clauses, ensuring clear and complete specifications.
  • Experience in detailed analysis of bids or proposals received, insuring strict compliance with specifications on advertised procurement.
  • Experience in both formal advertised and negotiated acquisitions, performing detailed analyses to determine responsiveness and responsibility of offer or, reviewing past bids and awards, and establishment of price reasonableness.
  • Experience drafting final contract including specifications, packing and shipping requirements, inspection instructions, and all other special and standard clauses, preparing recommendations for award, and documenting reasons for decisions.

  • Experience preparing initial agency position on protests from unsuccessful offers and renders or recommends a decision.
  • Experience in formally advertised procurement, ensure bid schedules are properly structured, prepare the solicitation, determine sources to be solicited, etc.
  • Experience negotiating settlements for changes and approves contract payments.
  • Experience assisting in the administration of contracts, including performance of termination actions.


Combination of Education and Experience:

GS-11 only: A combination of education and experience. This experience must have equipped you with the qualifications to perform the major duties of this position as described above.

If applicable, credit will be given for paid and unpaid experience. To receive proper credit, you must show the actual time (such as the number of hours worked per week) spent in activities.

**Your eligibility for consideration will be based on your responses to the questions in the application.**


See Qualifications Section for education requirements, if applicable.

ONLY if education is a requirement/substitution for specialized experience, applicant MUST upload legible transcripts as verification of educational requirement. Transcripts MUST be uploaded and electronically linked from USAJOBS at the time you apply and MUST include identifying information to include School Name, Student Name, Degree and Date Awarded (if applicable). All academic degrees and coursework must be completed at a college or university that has obtained accreditation or pre-accreditation status from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. For a list of schools that meet this criteria, Click Here .

Foreign Education: For information regarding foreign education requirements, please see Foreign Diploma and Credit Recognition at the U.S. Department of Education website: Recognition of Foreign Qualifications .

If you are selected for this position and qualified based on education (i.e. basic education requirement and/or substitution of education), you will be required to provide an OFFICIAL transcript prior to your first day on duty.

Additional information

Special Conditions of Employment Section:

The incumbent is subject to geographic relocation to meet the needs of the agency.

Appointment is subject to satisfactory completion of a pre-employment and panel interview, urinalysis, physical, and background investigation.

All applicants are subject to, and must satisfactorily pass all screening requirements in relation to National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and credit check.

Current Federal Law Enforcement Employees:

Individuals selected who are under the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) or Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and who have not had three years "primary" law enforcement retirement coverage, will not be covered by law enforcement retirement while in this position. To regain coverage, individuals must return to a position with "primary" coverage.

As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement (e.g., telework, remote work, etc.), subject to such exceptions as required by law. If selected, you will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination. The agency will provide additional information regarding what information or documentation will be needed and how you can request of the agency a legally required exception from this requirement.