Acquisition & Assistance Specialist
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SOLICITATION NUMBER: 72016720R10004
ISSUANCE DATE: June 3, 2020
CLOSING DATE/TIME: June 17, 2020/5:00pm
SUBJECT: Solicitation for a Cooperating Country National Personal Service Contractor (CCN PSC) (Local Compensation Plan)
Dear Prospective Offerors:
The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.
Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1, Sections I through V of this solicitation. Incomplete or unsigned offers will not be considered. Offerors should retain copies of all offer materials for their records.
This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offers.
Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.
Supervisory Executive Officer/Contracting Officer
- SOLICITATION NO.; 7201672010004
ISSUANCE DATE: June 3, 2020
CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: June 17, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. Pristina Time
POSITION TITLE: Acquisition & Assistance Specialist
MARKET VALUE: FSN-11 equivalent (Euro 29,641 – Euro 41,494 per annum) In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of the US Embassy in Pristina. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: CCNPSCs are contracts of a continuing nature depending on funds availability and Mission needs.
PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Pristina, Kosovo
SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Employment Authorization
STATEMENT OF DUTIES:
The Acquisition and Assistance Specialist is located in the Regional Contracting Office in Pristina, Kosovo. The function of the Office is to provide Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) support to Technical Offices and Development Objective (DO) Teams in the Mission and Offices that may be supported by the Mission. The primary purpose of this position is to support the cognizant Mission Contracting/Agreement Officer (CO/AO), by performing a variety of A&A duties including, writing grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other procurement instruments, and preparing amendments/modifications to procurement instruments in support of the Mission. The Specialist reviews and recommends approval or revision of requisitions in the Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS); reviews and recommends approval or revision of statements of work (SOW); drafts requests for proposal or quotations; performs cost and price analysis; analyzes proposals or quotes received; drafts contracts and contract modifications; analyzes budgets; recommends special contract requirements; writes Memoranda of Negotiation; and, prepares other required documentation. The Specialist maintains up-to-date contract files and records, may also manage Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPARs), and supports award closeouts. The Specialist provides guidance to supported Teams related to award modifications. The Specialist may be warranted per USAID’s Cooperating Country National Warrant Guidelines and be expected to exercise the duties contained therein. Periodic regional travel is required in performance of the below duties.
MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES: % OF TIME 40%
- The Specialist is responsible for providing professional level acquisition and assistance (A&A) support to Mission Technical Offices, DO Teams, and any designated regional clients. USAID programs are diverse and multi-sectoral. The Specialist is required to guide designated Technical Offices, and/or DO Teams, through acquisition and assistance processes to support a variety of activities. These activities are implemented through complex A&A mechanisms, including but not limited to purchase orders, competitively negotiated contracts, task orders, cooperative agreements, Interagency Agreements (IAA), and sole source or limited competition awards, requiring the Specialist to be expert with regard to the full range of USAID instruments. The Specialist coordinates the development of A&A objectives for assigned portfolios, taking primary responsibility for all phases of the A&A process for complex actions. The Specialist performs complete A&A transactions for complex activities.
- The Specialist must fully understand the USG laws, regulations, policies and procedures governing each type of A&A mechanism, and to apply these requirements to make recommendations to the supervisor regarding the appropriate instrument type for the situation at The Specialist works independently in the selection of the appropriate A&A instrument types to meet the Mission’s needs, and accurately applies United States Government (USG) A&A laws, regulations, policies, and procedures governing each type of instrument. The Specialist has an advanced knowledge of the procedures for acquisition of goods, for managing non-personal services contracting actions, and managing and awarding assistance agreements. Knowledge may also include personal services contracting actions.
- The Specialist performs his/her assignments independently, seeking the guidance of the Contracting/Agreement Officer (CO/AO) for the most complex The Specialist works directly with technical specialists/activity managers in DO Teams throughout the Mission and/or the Region, assisting in the preparation of annual A&A plans, clear and concise statements of work/statements of objectives/program descriptions, etc., and supporting documentation. The Specialist provides well supported guidance to technical specialists/activity managers pertaining to their A&A-related responsibilities and procedures.
In the context of a – c above, Major Duties include:
- Pre-Award Duties: The Specialist assists the Technical/DO Teams with A&A planning and advises on the selection of the appropriate A&A mechanisms to achieve program The Specialist collects and analyzes data, and prepares and updates tracking tools in order to monitor pending actions; works with clients to assist in the preparation of justifications, waivers, deviations, and other necessary approvals, as needed; and, reviews GLAAS Requisitions (REQs) for completeness and clarity before endorsing them to the CO/AO. The Specialist conducts pre-award activities for highly complex competitive solicitations, assisting technical personnel in the preparation of required descriptions of proposed activities, including SOWs, specifications, and program descriptions. The Specialist applies a high degree of judgment and analysis when deciding among and between competing and often conflicting regulations and objectives, where the activities involved include multi- million-dollar issues, often with significant political and/or legal implications. The Specialist works with the requiring office to develop evaluation criteria and determine the extent of advertising required. The Specialist prepares Requests for Proposal and Notices of Funding Opportunities for review by the CO/AO. The Specialist ensures compliance with FAR and AIDAR advertisement requirements, including publication of synopses and solicitations. The Specialist responds to offeror/applicant questions during the proposal submission phase; and, determines the need for, and prepares, clarifying amendments as required for solicitation documents. As necessary, the Specialist holds pre-bid or consultative meetings with potential partners to fully explain the Agency’s needs, and discusses solicitation documents. The Specialist evaluates applications and offers for responsiveness to particular solicitations, guides DO Teams in the review of the applications or proposals, and obtains reports and references, ensuring that any past performance of the offeror is relevant and of a high quality. The Specialist develops pre- negotiation cost objectives for approval by the CO/AO. The Specialist performs analysis of cost issues, considering economic conditions and factors of material, labor, and transportation costs; examines cost and pricing data submitted by offerors, to substantiate direct and indirect costs and profit; determines reasonableness of costs submitted; ensures data provided is consistent with USAID requirements on eligible geographic sources, and that salary structures are consistent with Agency policy; and, identifies circumstances that may require a waiver/deviation. The Specialist analyzes cost proposals and technical scores from technical evaluation committees; and, based on the analysis, makes a recommendation to the Regional Contracting Officer to establish the competitive range. The Specialist negotiates with potential awardees; documents negotiations in writing; recommends the selected contractor/recipient; and, prepares contract files to include making required certifications and determinations necessary for each A&A action. The Specialist leads pre-award assessment surveys of potential contractors or recipients, ensuring that offerors have adequate management, accounting, personnel, and procurement systems, and appropriate corporate leadership, resources, and quality control systems to satisfactorily carry out contracts, in order to ensure eligibility prior to an award being made. The Specialist prepares award documents that accurately reflect all discussions and provisions relevant to the type of award mechanism to be implemented. The Specialist organizes and conducts orientation meetings with selected contractors, to ensure that mobilization efforts will be conducted efficiently, and that all terms and conditions of A&A instruments are clear and well-understood by all parties. The Specialist provides support in debriefings to unsuccessful offerors.
- Post-Award Duties: The Specialist monitors performance as required by the terms and conditions of the award, through reviews of performance and reviews of financial reports. The Specialist administers the awards in his/her assigned developmental portfolio, monitoring funding levels and preparing incremental funding modifications; works with CO/AO and CORs/AORs to assure targets/milestones are set and being met (or that remedial action is taken), and that the overall goals of the activity are met. The Specialist ensures timely submission of technical progress reports, and works with the COR to develop Contractor Performance Assessment Reports (CPARs) that are consistent with implementation progress and performance; makes periodic visits to contractor work sites, and represents the Office at performance-related meetings; assists any client Missions to develop appropriate indicators for work plans and contract documents; ensures contractors are fully compliant with performance standards contained in the Contract, and seeks corrective action in cases of non-compliance; expedites Change Orders or revisions when circumstances require it; and, issues ‘show cause’ or ‘cure notices,’ and/or recommends termination of contracts for default or for convenience, and negotiates termination settlements.
- Audits and Award Closeout: The Specialist analyzes and takes action to resolve procurement system review and audit findings, such as cost items questioned or unresolved; supports recommendations with detailed analysis of each cost, category, or element as necessary; prepares necessary documents to resolve all aspects of audits, questioned or ineligible costs, and accounting issues; and, presents documentation to the CO/AO for The Specialist works with the Closeout Assistant to review completed (after physical completion) contract files to determine that all contractual actions are satisfied, and that there are no pending administrative actions to be resolved; ensure that all file documents are signed, that there are no litigation actions pending, and that the contract is complete in every respect and ready to be closed; and, ensure that contracts nearing anniversaries or completion have a completed performance report from the COR/AOR, including support to the CO/AO in review and comment to draft reports.
- Mentorship: The Specialist provides guidance and mentoring to junior-level staff, trainees, procurement technicians, and assistants on basic principles of USG and USAID acquisition, assistance, general A&A management, A&A policy direction, new/changed procurement policies, etc., as required. The Specialist is eligible for temporary duty (TDY) travel to the US, or to other Missions abroad, to participate in the “Foreign Service National” Fellowship Program, in accordance with USAID policy. The Specialist also takes a leadership role for the Regional Contracting Office in provided A&A development opportunities (e.g. trainings) for Mission staff on A&A
SUPERVISORY RELATIONSHIP: The CO/AO, and/or his/her designee, makes assignments in terms of a portfolio of A&A actions to be performed. The Specialist plans and implements the procurement approach, and exercises initiative and judgment in developing and coordinating the A&A package up to recommendation for award. The Specialist will independently initiate necessary coordination with requesting Mission CORs/AORs, Technical Offices, Office of Financial Management (OFM), DO Teams, and legal officers, providing policy guidance on how to best fulfill requirements, obtaining advice from the supervisor on unanticipated problems or complex issues when necessary. The Specialist will keep the CO/AO and/or his/her designee, informed of progress, potentially controversial issues, or matters that affect policy. The supervisor reviews the final work product of the Specialist to ensure that thorough analysis has been made, and that the determinations are supported by sound judgment and adequate justification and if warranted, acts with appropriate business judgement within the duties of the warrant. The Specialist has considerable latitude in dealing with problems arising during pre-award or post-award phases of the action.
SUPERVISORY CONTROLS: This is a non-supervisory position, but the Specialist provides support and guidance to lower level Specialists. Continuing supervision of other office staff is not contemplated.
AREA OF CONSIDERATION: Open to All Interested CCN (Cooperating Country National) Candidates.
AIDAR, Appendix J, 1. (b) Definitions:
- “Cooperating country” means the country in which the employing USAID Mission is located.
- “Cooperating country national” (“CCN”) means an individual who is a cooperating country citizen or a non-cooperating country citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the cooperating
NOTE: ALL CCNs MUST HAVE THE REQUIRED WORK AND/OR RESIDENCY PERMITS TO BE ELIGIBLE FOR CONSIDERATION. THE MISSION DOES NOT SPONSOR WORK PERMITS.
The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.
POINT OF CONTACT: Human Resources Office, USAID/Kosovo via [email protected].
i. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
Education: Possession of a Baccalaureate Degree or the equivalent of a four-year US college/university (or equivalency accreditation if a non-US institution) degree is required in business administration, agriculture, engineering, IT, economics, finance, marketing, commerce, accounting, hard sciences, humanities, international trade, law or politics. Additional education will not be substituted for Experience.
Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance and development assistance is required. One year of this experience must have been gained working in a position or an occupation that requires similar skills, within a USG organization, the Host Government, the private sector, or within an international or donor organization. Additional experience will not be substituted for Education.
Language Proficiency: Level IV (fluent) oral and written English, Albanian and/or Serbian
Job Knowledge: Knowledge of public and/or private-sector business processes is required. Professional level knowledge of USG A&A regulations and policies, and/or knowledge and understanding of how to execute and administer a complex acquisition and assistance portfolio is required, particularly as it relates to acquisition through methods of negotiation, sealed bidding, simplified acquisition procedures, and that result in standard and established contract types. A professional level of knowledge of host-country and regional markets pertaining to program/project/activity requirements for services and commodities, and a good knowledge and understanding of US/local market and pricing methods is required.
Skills and Abilities: The ability to independently plan and administer complex A&A activities and provide A&A support for Agency programs and projects in a timely manner, is required. The ability to apply contracting and assistance regulations, procedures, and policies to complex acquisition and assistance programs, is required. Ability to manage the competition phase of new agreements and contracts and to perform cost or price analysis in both a competitive and non-competitive environment is required. Skill in solving practical problems relating to A&A is required. An ability to deal effectively with mid- to high-level representatives of the US, local, and Regional business community, and with colleagues in USAID Missions and/or host governments throughout the Region, is required. Skill in the use of most elements of the Microsoft Business suite is required. Good analytical, negotiating, and time management skills, along with strong proofreading skills and attention to detail, are required. The ability to work calmly, tactfully, and effectively under pressure is essential, as well as the ability to maintain strict confidentiality, and meet all standards of conduct/ethics standards in accordance with us law throughout all phases of the A&A process, is required.
ii. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The Contracting Officer (CO) reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
In order to be considered for the position, an offeror must meet the Minimum Qualifications listed under Section II. After an initial application screening, the best qualified offerors will be invited for an English written examination and/or to an oral interview.
The successful offeror will be selected based on a review of:
- Offeror’s qualifications
- Relevant work experience
- General skills and abilities (communication, interpersonal, )
- Written examination results
- Interview and
- Results of reference checks
The hiring panel may check references that have not been specifically identified by applicants and may check references before or after a candidate is interviewed.
Other information regarding position:
Post Entry Training: The Specialist is expected to become certified at the Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) Level – 1, and additionally complete USAID Essential Elements in Assistance and CON 237 Simplified Acquisition Procedures (SAP) or equivalent. FAC-C Level II & III courses may be provided, in person or on-line, over a period of time as a part of the continuing requirement for all A&A professionals to complete a minimum of eighty (80) Continuous Learning Points for every two-year period. In addition, the Specialist may be provided with formal or on-the-job training to keep abreast of changes in the ADS, FAR, CFR, OAA-Intranet, the AIDAR, and Office and Mission operating and administrative procedures. Off-site formal training, if considered necessary, will be provided based on availability of course offerings, and availability of funds.
PRESENTING AN OFFER
Interested individuals meeting the Minimum Qualifications above are required to submit the following:
- Eligible Offerors are required to complete and submit the offer form AID 309-2 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms and documents listed below:
- Cover letter and current résumé/curriculum vitae (CV) limited to two pages each. The CV/résumé must contain sufficient relevant information to evaluate the application in accordance with the stated evaluation criteria. Broad general statements that are vague or lacking specificity will not be considered as effectively addressing.
- Offeror must provide a minimum of three name references within the last ten years from the applicant’s professional life, namely individuals who are not family members or relatives. References should be from direct supervisors who can provide information regarding the applicant’s work knowledge and professional experience. Applicants must provide e-mail addresses and/or working telephone numbers for all references. Do not send reference
- Proof of the required education level (copy of certificate or diploma)
- Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to [email protected].
- To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number in the offer
Any attachments provided via email shall be formatted in one single PDF document in the following order: (1) signed cover letter, (2) signed resume/CV (with list of recent references), and (3) signed AID 309-2.
NOTE: This position requires the submission of complete forms and/or supplemental materials as described herein above. Application packages with incomplete and/or unsigned forms or related documents will not be considered for further processing.
The solicitation will be posted at the U.S. Embassy Pristina website at https://xk.usembassy.gov/embassy/jobs/
iii. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES
Once the Contracting Officer (CO) informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the successful Offeror will be provided instructions about how to complete and submit forms for onboarding process.
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:
The Mission participates in the Kosovo Local Social Security System (LSSS) and all eligible Locally Employed Staff are required to participate. The LSSS require contributions by both, the employee and the employer.
The Mission provides medical coverage for employees and their immediate dependents. ALLOWANCES:
The Mission does not provide any allowances.
The U.S. Mission withholds local income tax payments for all employees subject to local taxation laws and transmits the taxes withheld to the Tax Administration of Kosovo on behalf of employees.
vi. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs
USAID regulations and policies governing CCN/TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:
- USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J, “Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf
- Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms
- Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs.
- AAPD 16-03 Expanded Incentive Awards for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals
- AAPD 06-08 AIDAR, Appendices D and J: Using the Optional Schedule to Incrementally Fund Contracts
- Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635. See https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Regulations.
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY:
USAID PROVIDES EQUAL OPPORTUNITY AND FAIR AND EQUITABLE TREATMENT IN EMPLOYMENT TO ALL PEOPLE WITHOUT REGARD TO RACE, COLOR, RELIGION, SEX, NATIONAL ORIGIN, AGE, DISABILITY, POLITICAL AFFILIATION, MARITAL STATUS, OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION.
SUBJECT TO FUNDS AVAILABILITY