No: 20-04 Solicitation for an Acquisition and Assistance Assistant


ISSUANCE DATE:        November 14, 2019

CLOSING DATE AND TIME:  December 13, 2019 @ 12 noon


SUBJECT: Solicitation for an Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist Cooperating Country National Personal Service Contractor

(CCNPSC) (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 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 General Information section of the solicitation.




Jason Bennett

Contracting Officer





2. ISSUANCE DATE: November 14, 2019 

3. CLOSING DATE AND TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS:  December 13, 2019 @ 12 noon.

4. POINT OF CONTACT:  Zandile Goromonzi, email

5. POSITION TITLE: Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist (2 Positions)

6. MARKET VALUE:  The full performance level of this position is equivalent to FSN-11, which is between $60,312 -$87,452 USD. However, if USAID’s evaluation does not result in an award at the full performance level, USAID may make an award to a CCN at a lower level with contract options to place the contractor at each progressive level until the full performance level is reached. 

The entry level of this position is equivalent to FSN-9, which is between $43,027- $62,397   USD and the intermediate level of this position is equivalent to FSN-10, which is between $48,792 - $70,742 US$.

In accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/Zimbabwe final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value of the performance level for which the CCNPSC is selected.

7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE (INCLUSIVE OF OPTIONS): o/a February 2020 base year starting February 2020 to February 2021 with an additional 4 option years. 


9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: 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. STATEMENT OF DUTIES: This position is established as Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/Specialist “Ladder” position, which includes positions at the FSN-9, FSN-10, and the full performance level of FSN-11.  

At the full performance level, the CCN PSC will perform the following general duties:

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.


Pre-Award Duties (60%) - 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.

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). 

Post Award Duties (40%) - 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.


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.


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.


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.


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




Full Performance Level (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.

b. Prior Work Experience:  Five years of progressively responsible work in acquisition and assistance is required. As this position is part of a recognized and established career ladder, a minimum of two years of this experience must have been gained working in a USAID A&A Office, with at least one year at the next lower, FSN-10, grade level.

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

      Intermediate Performance Level (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.

b. Prior Work Experience:  Four years of progressively responsible experience in acquisition and assistance, development assistance, or a closely related field is required. As this position is part of a recognized and established career ladder, a minimum of one year of this experience must have been gained working in a USAID A&A Office at no less than the next lower grade level. 

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

      Entry Level (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 is required.

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 a position equivalent to or no less than the next lower level of FSN responsibility in this or a related occupation, within a USG organization, the Host Government, the private sector, or within an international or donor organization, in an English-language work environment.

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


14. 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: 


a. Meeting minimum qualifications for the FSN 9 level - 0 points

b. Meeting minimum qualifications for the FSN 10 level - 10 points

c. Meeting minimum qualifications for the FSN 11 level - 20 points

      Job Knowledge: (20 points)

a. Knowledge of public and/or private-sector business processes, or the ability to quickly gain such knowledge. 

b. 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. 

c. 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. 

b. The Assistant should also possess the ability to work as part of a team in USAID. Experience in Microsoft Office. 

c. Good analytical, negotiating, along with strong proofreading skills and attention to detail.  

d. The ability to work calmly, tactfully, and effectively under pressure. 

e. The ability to plan and administer A&A activities and provide adequate A&A support for agency programs and projects in a timely manner. 

f. The ability to apply governing regulations, procedures, and policies to assigned A&A programs. 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

   15.   SUBMITTING AN OFFER: The application package should be submitted via email to 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.

d. Offers must be received by the closing date and time specified in item 3, and submitted to the Point of Contact in item 4.

e. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation number 20-04 Acquisition and Assistance Assistant/ Specialist - (Acquisition and Assistance Office) in the subject line of the application e-mail and in the subject line of your application letter in the offer submission.

f. As this solicitation is for a “ladder” position, Offerors must identify the FSN-equivalent level at which level(s) the Offeror wants to be considered.  If the TEC determines that an Offeror is not qualified at the position level(s) the Offeror identified, the Offeror will not be considered further unless the Offeror identified that they are willing to be considered at any lower level(s).  An offeror who fails to identify any level for consideration, will be evaluated only against the full performance level.

g. 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.

h. 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. 


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.

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

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

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

d. Fingerprint Card (FD-258)


Benefits and allowances will be communicated to the successful candidate.


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 

Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at

Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at 

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 



Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 9:15am

Last updated: April 16, 2020