19-03 Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist

SOLICITATION NUMBER: 19-03

ISSUANCE DATE: May 3, 2019

CLOSING DATE/TIME: June 3, 2019

SUBJECT: Solicitation for an Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist, 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. Applicants may qualify at one of the three levels of seniority ranked on the local compensation plan scale of 9, 10 or 11. Applicants are expected to clearly indicate the level to which they qualify.

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.

Sincerely,

Jason Bennett

Supervisory Executive Officer

 

ATTACHMENT 1

I. GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.: 19-03

2. ISSUANCE DATE: May 3, 2019.

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: June 3, 2019 @ 1700 hours.

4. POSITION TITLE: Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist.

5. MARKET VALUE: The offered compensation for this position will be experience dependent, FSN-09 ($40,944 - $59,374), FSN-10 ($46,435 - $67,325); FSN-11 ($57,406 - $83,236), In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of the US Government in Zimbabwe. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Beginning o/a July 2019.

7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Harare.

8. SECURITY CERTIFICATION REQUIRED.

9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES AND MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS: Three levels herein described as Acquisition and Assistance Assistant (FSN-9), Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN-10) and Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN-11).

i) Acquisition and Assistance Assistant (FSN-9)

Statement of duties

a. The Assistant is responsible for providing basic A&A support to USAID/Zimbabwe’s Technical Offices. USAID programs are diverse and multi-sectoral. The Assistant is required to provide A&A support to assigned technical offices and to support a variety of activities. These activities are implemented through complex A&A mechanisms, including but not limited to competitive or sole source grants, cooperative agreements, purchase orders, or contracts, requiring the Assistant to become familiar with the full range of USAID A&A regulations and policies.

b. The Assistant is expected to work with higher-level Specialists/Officers, and with technical Specialists/Activity Managers in the technical teams throughout the Mission, assisting in the preparation of annual Agency and/or Mission A&A plans, drafting statements of work and program descriptions, and other supporting documentation. The Assistant will develop the ability to provide technical guidance to technical specialists/activity managers pertaining to their A&A-related responsibilities. Specific developmental duties include:

c. Pre-Award Duties– the Assistant participates in meetings on A&A planning; collates data and prepares and updates tracking tools in order to monitor pending actions; works with clients to assist in the preparation of justifications, waivers, and other necessary approvals, as needed; and, reviews GLAAS Requisitions for completeness and clarity before endorsing them to higher-level Specialists/Officers. S/he prepares solicitation documents and works with higher-level Specialists/Officers to ensure compliance with FAR and AIDAR advertisement requirements, including publication of synopses and solicitations, as prescribed. The Assistant works with higher-level Specialists/Officers to prepare Requests for Proposal and Requests for Application. The Assistant assists higher-level Specialists/Officers in pre-award activities for competitive and non-competitive solicitations (i.e. conducting cost analysis, drafting award documents and negotiation memoranda, etc.), and with pre-award surveys of potential contractors or recipients, in order to ensure eligibility prior to an award being made.

d. Post-Award Duties– the Assistant assists higher-level Specialists/Officers in monitoring performance as required by the terms and conditions of the award, through reviews of performance and reviews of financial reports. The Assistant manages the assigned development portfolio, assuring that funding is available when required; and, under the guidance of higher-level Specialists/Officers works with technical teams and CORs/AORs to assure targets/milestones are set and met (or that remedial action is taken), and that the overall goals of the activity are achieved. The Assistant works with higher-level Specialist/Officer and the technical team to process any necessary award modifications, including those providing incremental funding or otherwise changing the terms and conditions of active awards. As assigned, the Assistant conducts site visits and attends meetings. The Assistant provides guidance to technical personnel, and assists in programmatic duties as required avoiding contractual/legal improprieties, seeking guidance from higher-level Specialists/Officers as required. The Assistant assists in researching and resolving issues that may arise during award performance, including changes, work stoppages, disputes, implementation problems, defaults, cost overruns, unacceptable performance, and payment problems.

e. The Assistant assists in the conduct of closeouts of contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements after completion. These include ensuring contract audits are conducted in a timely manner, preparing performance documentation, and resolving outstanding issues noted in audits.

Minimum qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Assistant (FSN-9)

a. Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, law, business, finance, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, and/or organization and management.

b. Prior Work Experience: Three years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance, development assistance, or a closely related field is required. One year of this experience must have been gained working in an English-language work environment.

c. Language Proficiency: Level IV (Fluent) English language proficiency, both oral and written.

ii) Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN-10)

Statement of duties

a. The Specialist is responsible for providing A&A support for USAID/Zimbabwe’s technical offices. USAID programs are diverse and multi-sectoral. The Specialist provides A&A support to technical offices in the design, procurement, and implementation phase. These activities are implemented through a variety of A&A mechanisms, including but not limited to competitive or sole source purchase orders, contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, and Participating Agency Service Agreements (PASA), requiring the Specialist to be familiar with the full range of federal and Agency regulations and policies.

b. The Specialist is expected to provide guidance and support for the technical teams in the development of procurement plans; drafting statements of work and program descriptions, justifications, and other supporting documentation; and processing award modifications. The Specialist must be able to provide authoritative technical guidance to technical specialists/activity managers, pertaining to their A&A-related responsibilities and procedures. Specific duties include:

c. Pre-Award Duties – the Specialist assists technical teams in the analysis of annual program plans, recommends appropriate acquisition and assistance instrument to help achieve program objectives; assists technical personnel in the preparation of required descriptions of proposed activities, including statements of work and activity descriptions; prepares pre-solicitation documents and clearances, including determinations, justifications, synopses, and solicitations and, reviews GLAAS Requisitions (REQs) for completeness and clarity. The Specialist advises on the effectiveness of evaluation criteria, and any terms and conditions. In coordination with Technical Evaluation Committee or Selection Committee, the Specialist evaluates and analyzes cost proposals and ensures compliance with evaluation criteria. The Specialist assists in the development of independent government estimates, in conjunction with the Contracting/Agreement Officer, technical personnel, and others; recommends the competitive range; negotiates with potential awardees; documents negotiations in writing; recommends the most successful applicant to the CO/AO: and, prepares award documents that accurately reflect all discussions and provisions relevant to the type of award mechanism to be implemented.

d. Post-Award Duties– The Specialist works with CORs/AORs to monitor performance as required by the terms and conditions of the award; manages his/her assigned portfolio; assures that funding is available when required; works with CORs/AORs to ensure targets/milestones are being met and provides guidance on remedial action to be taken if targets are not being met; conducts site visits with the COR/AOR; attends internal and external meetings; processes all necessary modifications of active awards and, provides guidance to technical personnel to assist in their programmatic duties as required. The Specialist assists the CO/AO with issues that may arise during performance, including changes, work stoppages, disputes, implementation problems, defaults, cost overruns, and unacceptable performance.

e. The Specialist works closely with the AOR/COR and Closeout Specialist to facilitate the closeout of contracts, grants, and cooperative agreements after completion ensuring audits are conducted in a timely manner, and resolving outstanding issues noted in audits.

Minimum qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN-10)

a. Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, law, business, finance, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, and/or organization and management is required. (FAC-C) Level I, in accordance with a formal individual development plan (IDP), is required for progression to the FSN-10 level.

b. Prior Work Experience: Four years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance, development assistance, or a closely related field is required.

c. Language Proficiency: Level IV (Fluent) English language proficiency, both oral and written, is required.

iii) Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN - 11)

Statement of duties

a. The Acquisition and Assistance Specialist is located in the Office of Acquisition and Assistance (OAA), USAID/Zimbabwe. The function of the office is to provide Acquisition and Assistance (A&A) support to Mission’s technical offices. The primary purpose of this position is to perform a variety of A&A duties including negotiating grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, and other types of instruments and administration of existing awards, including preparing amendments in support of the Mission. The Specialist reviews and accepts requisitions in the Global Acquisition and Assistance System (GLAAS); reviews and recommends revisions of scopes of work (SOW) and program descriptions (PD); drafts solicitations (Request for Application, Request for Proposals, Request for Quotation); analyzes applications, proposals or quotes received; performs cost and price analysis; recommends inclusion of required provisions and clauses; drafts award documents and modifications; writes Memoranda of Negotiation; and, prepares other required documentation. The Specialist maintains award files in the Agency Secure Image and Storage Tracking (ASIST) system and keeps all records up to date. The Specialist ensures that Contractor Performance Reports (CPRs) are completed in the Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) and supports award closeouts. The Specialist provides guidance related to award modifications and is responsible for carrying out day-to-day activities without supervision.

b. The Specialist provides professional-level advice and guidance to USAID/Zimbabwe’s technical offices, including procurement planning functions and participating in program planning meetings. The Specialist assists the technical team in the preparation of required descriptions of proposed activities, including statements of work, program descriptions, evaluation criteria, etc. The Specialist advises technical teams on best practices and innovative approaches to connect design, procurement and implementation. The Specialist also ensures acquisition and assistance plans are current, works with technical teams to develop appropriate milestone plans, and ensures activities have adequate funding.

c. Pre-Award Duties - The Specialist reviews GLAAS Requisitions (REQs) for major and complex activities. S/he analyzes requirements; recommends selection of instrument and/or A&A approach; ensures that Program Descriptions (PD) or Statements of Work (SOW), required justifications and/or waivers, and other supporting documents are complete; verifies that necessary Mission clearances have been obtained; and recommends revisions of planning documents, including SOW/PD, budget estimates, evaluation criteria, and any special award conditions. The Specialist also advises the technical office on developing clear, concise, and concrete evaluation criteria for Request for Proposal (RFP) or Request for Application (RFA), drafts solicitation document in accordance with appropriate regulations, selects required provisions/clauses, and transmits RFP/RFAs using Internet-based technology. The Specialist responds to questions during the submission phase and determines the need for, and prepares, amendments as required for solicitation documents. As necessary, the Specialist holds pre-solicitation conferences or co-creation workshops with potential partners to explain the Agency’s needs and share ideas about best practices. The Specialist applies a high degree of judgment and analysis when deciding among and between competing and often conflicting regulations and policy guidance, especially where the activities involved include multi-million-dollar issues and may carry significant political and/or legal implications.

d. The Specialist reviews proposals and applications for responsiveness to the respective solicitations, guides technical teams in the evaluation of proposals or applications through documentation of the relative strengths and weaknesses/deficiencies of each proposal/application; provides guidance on determining 'best value' selection and performance-based technical approaches, among others. The Specialist reviews past performance reports and references to evaluate the ability and experience of the most likely recipient(s) in implementing activities of similar scope and size. The Specialist ensures that offerors have adequate management, accounting, personnel, and procurement systems, and appropriate corporate leadership, resources, and quality control systems to satisfactorily carry out activities. The Specialist requests audit reports or pre-award surveys from the Financial Management Office and obtains clearance from the Department of Labor and/or the Small Business Administration, if required. The Specialist performs complex cost analysis, considering economic conditions, to determine reasonableness of proposed 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. The Specialist coordinates issues of technical weakness and excessive cost with technical teams prior to commencement of negotiation; and, clarifies and, as necessary, instructs the members of the Technical Evaluation Committee (TEC)/Selection Committee (SC) on the USAID A&A process. The Specialist designs the negotiation strategy, identifies areas subject to negotiation, and consults with technical specialists concerning data submitted by applicants/offerors. S/he conducts extensive negotiations on cost and technical issues prior to award, presenting USAID issues of concern and requesting applicants/offerors to correct technical deficiencies and reduce costs where appropriate. The Specialist requests submission of revised final application or proposal, coordinates the last stages of selection with TEC or SC, and prepares appropriate contract or grant instruments for award. S/he negotiates A&A instruments with potential partners; analyzes transactions to ensure compliance with Agency cost-sharing and registration policies, as well as local laws governing status; and, negotiates and drafts interagency agreements. The Specialist establishes the competitive range or identifies the apparently successful applicant and presents documentation for signature to the Contracting Officer/Agreement Officer (CO/AO).

e. Post Award Duties - Following signature by the CO/AO, the Specialist organizes and conducts the post award orientation meetings with selected implementers to ensure that mobilization efforts will be conducted efficiently, and that all parties understand the award terms and conditions. The Specialist also provides debriefings to unsuccessful offerors. The Specialist monitors contractor/implementer performance in relation to the completion schedule required by the instrument; ensures timely submission of technical progress reports, making periodic field visits with the Agreement Office’s Representative; represents OAA at performance-related meetings; ensures partners are fully compliant with technical and financial requirements of the instrument; and seeks corrective action in cases of non-compliance. S/he expedites Change Orders or revisions when circumstances require; and issues ‘show cause' or ‘cure notices’ and/or recommends termination of contracts for default or for convenience, and then negotiates termination settlements.

f. The Specialist analyzes, and takes action to resolve audit findings, such as ineligible or questioned costs; 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 signature. The Specialist reviews completed contract files to determine that all contractual actions are satisfied and that there are no pending administrative actions to be resolved; ensures that all file documents are signed, that there are no litigation actions pending, and that the award is complete in every respect and ready to be closed. The Specialist ensures that contracts nearing annual anniversaries or final completion have a completed performance report from the Contracting Officer’s Representative and submits reports to the Contractor for comment.

g. The Specialist provides guidance and mentoring to junior-level staff, on basic principles of USG and USAID acquisition and assistance policy and procedures, general A&A management, procurement policy direction, new/changed procurement policies, etc., as required.

h. As required, the Specialist may be called upon to provide information and advice to the CO/AO and/or his/her designee on critical procurement issues, or on the effect of new or revised USG, USAID, or host-country requirements. The Specialist attends key Mission meetings on behalf of the Office, as assigned.

Minimum qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN-11)

a. Education: Bachelor’s degree in accounting, law, business, finance, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, and/or organization and management is required. (FAC-C) Level II, in accordance with a formal individual development plan (IDP), is required for progression to the FSN-11 level

b. Prior Work Experience: Five years of progressively responsible work in acquisition and assistance is required.

c. Language Proficiency: Level IV (Fluent) English language proficiency, both oral and written, is required.

10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All Zimbabwean citizens or legal Zimbabwean permanent residents, with the required visa/permit to work and live in the country (proof of paperwork will need to be provided).

11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.

12. POINT OF CONTACT: Zandile Goromonzi, e-mail at zgoromonzi@usaid.gov.

II. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

Offerors who meet the basic qualifications will be invited for an oral interview and a written examination. Offerors will be rated and ranked according to the following job-related criteria.

Evaluation Criteria:

Education and work experience

a. Qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Assistant FSN 9 - 0 points

b. Qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Specialist FSN 10 - 10 points

c. Qualifications for Acquisition and Assistance Specialist FSN 11- 20 points

Job Knowledge: (20 points)

a. Knowledge of public and/or private-sector business processes, or the ability to quickly gain such knowledge, is required. An understanding of US Federal and USAID Acquisition Regulations, and/or knowledge and understanding of how to execute and administer a complex A&A portfolio, and/or the ability to quickly gain such understanding, is required. Knowledge of US Federal and USAID Acquisition Regulations

Skills and Abilities: (30 points)

a. The ability to learn quickly, develop plans based on deadlines, manage time effectively, and be proactive in learning about A&A laws, regulations and policies, as well as Agency programs, is required. The Assistant should also possess the ability to work as part of a team in USAID. Experience in Microsoft Office is required. Good analytical, negotiating, along with strong proofreading skills and attention to detail, are required. The ability to work calmly, tactfully, and effectively under pressure is essential. The ability to plan and administer A&A activities, and provide adequate A&A support for agency programs and projects in a timely manner is required. The ability to apply governing regulations, procedures, and policies to assigned A&A programs is required. The Specialist should have the ability to deal effectively with high-level representatives of the US and Host Country business community, and with colleagues in the Mission.

Total possible points

a. Acquisition and Assistance Assistant (FSN 9) - 50 points

b. Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN 10) - 60 points

c. Acquisition and Assistance Specialist (FSN 11) - 70 points

III. PRESENTING AN OFFER

1. The application package should be submitted via email to zimrecruit@usaid.gov to the attention of the Human Resources Office and must include:

a. An application letter, detailing how the applicant meets the above minimum qualifications and selection criteria. Please type in the letter your response to each item, e.g. Education, and state how you meet the targeted minimum qualifications. Failure to do this will result in you not being shortlisted.

b. A current resume relevant to the position (no more than 2 pages).Any other documentation that addresses the qualification requirements of the position listed above.

c. Please note: Applications should not be more than 1mb in size.

2. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in Section I, item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in Section I, item 11.

3. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number 19-03 Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist (Office of Acquisition and Assistance) in the subject line of the application e-mail and in the subject line of your application letter in the offer submission.

4. Selection Process: After an initial application screening, the best qualified applicants will be invited to a testing process, which includes a written exercise and oral interviews and reference checks.

A conditional letter offer will be extended pending medical and security clearances.

Applicants who fail to follow all the application requirements stated above will not be short listed.

IV. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

Once the (CO) informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the CO will provide the successful Offeror instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms.

1. Medical History and Examination Form (Department of State Forms)

2. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions for National Security (SF-86), or

3. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)

4. Finger Print Card (FD-258)

V. BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

Benefits and allowances will be communicated to the successful candidate.

VI. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs

USAID regulations and policies governing CCN/TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:

1. 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

2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms

3. 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

4. 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

Date 
Tuesday, May 7, 2019 - 10:30am

Last updated: April 16, 2020