Solicitation for U.S. Personal Services Contractor (USPSC) No. 16-2022 Senior Economic Growth Advisor, USAID/Uzbekistan

Speeches Shim

Thursday, July 21, 2022

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 USPSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offer.

Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.

Sincerely,

 

Melinda Roberts

Executive Officer

 

ATTACHMENT 1                                                                                                                                                       SOLICITATION NO. 16/2022

I.  GENERAL INFORMATION

1. SOLICITATION NO.:  16/2022

2. ISSUANCE DATE:  07/15/2022

3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS:  07/29/2022 (6:00 pm Tashkent local time)

4. POINT OF CONTACT: USAID/Uzbekistan Human Resources, e-mail: tashkenthr@usaid.gov and

5. POSITION TITLE:  Senior Economic Growth Advisor

6. MARKET VALUE:  $95,973-$124,764 per annum (equivalent to GS-14). Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.

7. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The U.S. Personal Services Contract will be for one year (with a possible one year extension)

8. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: The duty post for this contract is Tashkent, Uzbekistan. The selected candidate is expected to work eight hours per day during the core working hours of the USAID/Uzbekistan Mission.

9. ELIGIBLE OFFERORS: U.S. Citizens

10. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED:  TOP SECRET

II. STATEMENT OF DUTIES

1. BASIC FUNCTION OF POSITION

Senior Economic Growth Advisor position is in the Office of Economic Growth & Environment (EGE), one of four technical offices in the USAID/Uzbekistan Mission.

Under the general supervision and technical guidance of the Mission Director or his/her designee the job holder serves as Office Director with emphasis on economic growth and economic structural reforms, environment, and climate change. The incumbent will provide effective leadership, supervisory and management skills, technical advisory services, and mentorship. The incumbent will be recognized as the Mission's senior expert and advisor to the Embassy, USAID Mission leadership, international donors, and senior government of Uzbekistan officials on issues of private and public economic sector development, including; financial services; banking and commercial law; business development (ranging from the commercial legal and regulatory framework to tax and customs procedures); trade policy reform and customs; micro, small and medium-sized enterprise growth, and climate adaptation and mitigation and general environmental issues.

The incumbent is expected to operate and carry out duties with a high degree of independence and provide technical assistance to development programs, as necessary.  The incumbent serves as mentor for Uzbekistan colleagues in EGE and throughout the mission on economic growth issues.

The job holder is responsible for guiding staff in designing, managing, and evaluating complex, multi-million-dollar USAID/Uzbekistan initiatives promoting economic governance and private sector development and addressing the impacts of climate change.

The incumbent will perform a variety of complex functions related to research, planning, programming, reporting, etc. to support implementation and coordination of economic development assistance projects and programs. The incumbent maintains close donor coordination and develops high level contacts. As such, this position entails a substantial degree of demanding representational work at high levels with the Government of Uzbekistan (GoU) and with senior U.S. officials.

An expected straight lined EG budget will require the incumbent to lead the EGE team to prioritize developing proposals for alternative funding and apply to off-cycle funding opportunities e.g., women economic empowerment, Countering Chinese Influence (CCIF), local works, Ukraine supplemental. In addition, USAID/Uzbekistan’s new Strategic Framework identifies private sector engagement as a cross-cutting issue which will require the incumbent to initiate partnerships with the private sector in different economic sectors and provide guidance to the Mission's PSE lead to leverage internal and external resources and advance USAID's PSE Policy .

The incumbent is required to work closely and collaboratively with other donor agencies, senior Mission management, the U.S. Embassy, and USAID/Washington staff and with local and international private companies, business associations, NGOs, and academia.

2. MAJOR DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

During the next year, the EGE Office will experience major staffing and programmatic changes, creating the need for an experienced contractor to provide effective leadership, supervisory and management skills, technical advisory services, and mentorship. The EGE has two new critical designs in business enabling environment and climate adaptation that the incumbent will need to advance significantly in the coming 12 months. In addition, the Mission’s existing flagship agriculture program, Agribusiness Development Activity, will need to be expanded to incorporate rural women economic empowerment interventions and support for returning migrant workers. The incumbent will develop strategies and guide professional staff's interactions with implementing partners and government officials to develop a baseline and annual evaluation of progress in these sectors. An expected straight lined EG budget will require the incumbent to lead the team to prioritize developing proposals for alternative funding and apply to off-cycle funding opportunities e.g., women economic empowerment, CCIF, local works, Ukraine supplemental. In addition, USAID/Uzbekistan’s new Strategic Framework identifies private sector engagement as a cross-cutting issue which will require the incumbent to develop new approaches to advance PSE under the Mission’s economic growth portfolio.

  • 20% Time Allocation:

As a key member of the Embassy's economic team, USAID’s Senior Economic Growth Advisor leads the EGE team, coordinates with other office directors, and provides counsel routinely to the Ambassador and the Mission Director based on their expert technical knowledge and skills. The EGE Director collaborates closely with the U.S. Embassy, high-ranking host government officials, private sector businesses, and donor counterparts. The position required the development of personal contacts so their advice and recommendations can lead towards achievement of USG goals. The position requires strong managerial and leadership skills, program design and oversight experience, analytical and organizational skills, and communication (oral and written) and interpersonal skills.

  • 10% Time Allocation:

The Senior Economic Growth Advisor also provides technical oversight of new activity designs, from start to finish. While the activity description will be partially developed, the contractor will finalize it and will move through the remaining activity design and procurement process immediately, taking all necessary steps to bring these processes to conclusion. Proposed Deliverables: A bilateral climate activity and Business Enabling Environment Global Development Alliance (GDA) award.

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Develop two private sector partnerships with international private sector companies acting in Uzbekistan under the Mission’s existing Agribusiness Development Activity or separately through a GDA APS Addendum. Proposed Deliverables: USAID/Uzbekistan signs two MOUs with international private sector companies.

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Lead the development of concept papers/proposals for off cycle funding opportunities (e.g., climate, CCIF, Women Economic Empowerment, Local Works, Ukraine Supplemental). Proposed Deliverables: USAID/Uzbekistan accesses one additional off-cycle funding source. 

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Lead the development of EGE Office’s budget allocation, Operating Plan (OP), Performance Plan and Report (PPR) and other annual reporting and planning requirements. Provide content, editing, and advice as needed. Proposed Deliverables: The economic growth and environment sections of the Mission Resources Requests (MRR), Annual Budget Review (ABR), OP, PPR and other reporting and planning documents are submitted on time and any follow up questions are addressed.

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Lead the development, outreach, and communication materials, BCLs, talking points, speeches on economic and environment topics, as needed. Proposed Deliverables: Requested economic growth and environment BCLs, communication materials, and talking points are developed on time. 

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Temporarily serve as Activity Manager for the regional water and energy activities, until the new FSN 11 Project Management Specialist is on-boarded and trained or in their absence. Proposed Deliverables: The Central Asia Regional water and energy activities’ working in Uzbekistan are effectively implemented and monitored.

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Provide mentorship to all members of the EGE office. Proposed Deliverables: Pass along knowledge and experience in EGE programming through official (e.g., weekly mentorship meetings) and unofficial means with the members of the EGE team. 

  • 10% Time Allocation:

Participate and initiate virtual and in-person meetings with local government officials, private sector representatives, NGOs, other donors, and the inter-agency on topics related to USAID economic growth and environment programming, as needed. Proposed Deliverables: Build relationships, negotiate, and expand the knowledge of USAID economic growth and environment programming in Uzbekistan to influence key decision makers at the national and local level in order to move forward USG goals. 

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

SUPERVISION RECEIVED:  The Senior Development Advisor will be supervised by the Mission Director.

SUPERVISION EXERCISED: The incumbent will provide extensive leadership and guidance for EGE Office staff.  

 

3.  MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION

1. GENERAL: Must be a U.S. citizen. Must be able to obtain a U.S. Government “TOP SECRET” security clearance. Must be able to secure a medical clearance to serve in Central Asia. Must be willing to travel throughout the five countries in Central Asia. Must have High Threat Security Overseas Seminar (HTSOS) and Foreign Affairs Counter Threat (FACT) trainings before arriving at post. Available and willing to commit to the Contract Performance Period of 12 (up to 24) months. Advisable to conduct a one-week consultation in DC prior to arrival at post.

2. EDUCATION: The incumbent must have a master’s degree in an agriculture-related field, business, management, economics, or public policy.

3. PRIOR WORK EXPERIENCE: Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience working with USAID or USG in development assistance, including activity design, procurement and management of agricultural development and agribusiness programs, trade, business enabling environment, private sector development and engagement, impact investing/credit facilitation, or/and climate and environment programming.  Previous work experience with an international development organization overseas is strongly preferred. Central Asia experience is desired.

4. SKILLS AND ABILITIES: Strong leadership, analytical, management, activity design, personnel coaching experience and organizational skills are required. The position also requires demonstrated ability in strategic and activity planning, technical and socio-economic analysis on the one hand, while working closely with new members of the EGE office team to shorten their respective learning curves from technical and USAID Business Practices perspectives. Considerable professionalism is mandatory as the applicant will represent USAID in meetings with mid to senior level Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) officials, US Embassy Tashkent Country Team, private sector and donor partners, and civil society organizations. The applicant should possess strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, and the ability to work effectively within a diverse team and with no supervision. Excellent writing and oral communication skills are necessary. Demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are required.

5.  LANGUAGE SKILLS: Excellent English writing and speaking ability is required. The candidate must have a demonstrated capacity to communicate complex technical, enterprise development, policy, strategy, and program issues orally and in writing in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner.

III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS

The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The 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.

Applicants who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated. Applications that do not meet the required minimum qualifications will not be scored. Candidates meeting the above required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application.

After meeting the minimum qualifications, consideration and selection will be based on a panel evaluation of the Evaluation Criteria. Additionally, USAID may request writing samples and an interview from the top-scoring candidates. Top-scoring candidates will also be asked to provide three professional references. Please note that not all applicants will be interviewed or contacted. USAID will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews unless the expenses are pre-authorized. Reference checks may be conducted on candidates selected for an interview.

Applicants must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).

Applicants will be evaluated against the following criteria (100% total):

All applications will be evaluated based on the documentation submitted with the application. Applicants are required to provide a cover letter addressing how they meet the requirements of each criterion below and submit three to five professional references with complete contact information. Candidates will be evaluated and ranked based on the following selection criteria (listed in descending order of importance):

Experience (35%): Minimum of seven years of progressively responsible experience working with USAID or USG in development assistance, including activity design, procurement and management of agricultural development and agribusiness programs, trade, business enabling environment, private sector development and engagement, impact investing/credit facilitation, or/and climate and environment programming.  Previous work experience with an international development organization overseas is strongly preferred. Central Asia experience is desired.

Skills and Abilities (25%): Strong leadership, analytical, management, activity design, personnel coaching experience and organizational skills are required. The position also requires demonstrated ability in strategic and activity planning, technical and socio-economic analysis on the one hand, while working closely with new members of the EGE office team to shorten their respective learning curves from technical and USAID Business Practices perspectives. Considerable professionalism is mandatory as the applicant will represent USAID in meetings with mid to senior level Government of Uzbekistan (GOU) officials, US Embassy Tashkent Country Team, private sector and donor partners, and civil society organizations. The applicant should possess strong interpersonal and cross-cultural skills, and the ability to work effectively within a diverse team and with no supervision. Excellent writing and oral communication skills are necessary. Demonstrated knowledge and proficiency in Microsoft Windows, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint are required.

Knowledge (20%): Broad knowledge of planning and developing technical activity design and programmatic approaches in economic growth and environment to ensure vital administrative decisions are made for beneficiaries on a continuous basis as the environment changes - are mandatory. Knowledge and skill in conceptualizing programming, policies, and plans, and developing strategies for their implementation is required. The changing public policy and program environment requires the ability to make decisions and recommendations based on their judgment, technical authority, and their interpretation of guidelines and written or oral changes. The candidate must use complex analysis to adapt to conflicting requirements of various stakeholders and be able to develop new techniques and criteria to solve issues where the USAID Mission and stakeholders need clear guidance. Significant knowledge of current USAID program management and activity design, as well as a broad range of issues related to agricultural development, private sector development/investments, and climate adaptation and mitigation is required. Knowledge of the structure and workings of the U.S. Government is desired. Knowledge of the Uzbekistan context, its private sector evolution, the GOU organizational culture, structure, policies, programs and operations and development priorities is desired.

Education (5%): The applicant must have at least a master’s degree in an agriculture-related field, business, management, economics, or public policy.

Language (15%): Excellent English writing and speaking ability is required. The candidate must have a demonstrated capacity to communicate complex technical, enterprise development, policy, strategy, and program issues orally and in writing in a clear, concise, and well-organized manner.

Candidates meeting the required qualifications for the position will be evaluated based on information presented in the application and reference checks. USAID reserves the right to conduct interviews with the most highly ranked applicants.

After the closing date for receipt of applications, a committee will be convened to review applications and evaluate them in accordance with the evaluation criteria. Applications from candidates which do not meet the required selection criteria will not be scored. Only short-listed finalists will be contacted by USAID with respect to their applications. 

USAID reserves the right to interview only the highest ranked applicants in person or by phone OR not to interview any candidate. Reference checks will be conducted only for applicants considered as finalists. If an applicant does not wish USAID to contact a current employer for a reference check, this should be stated in the applicant’s application.

The final selected candidate must obtain a “TOP SECRET” Security Clearance and medical clearance to work in Central Asia within a reasonable period of time (USAID will provide details regarding these requirements to the selected candidate). A substantial delay in obtaining either the medical clearance or background check may make the applicant ineligible for selection.

TERM OF PERFORMANCE

The base term of the contract will be for a period of one year, which may be extended for one more year upon mutual agreement and subject to, continued need, satisfactory performance and availability of funds. This position has been classified as equivalent to a GS-14 position in the USG Civil Service. The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated depending on qualifications and previous salary history. In addition to the basic salary, differentials, and other benefits in effect at the time and which are applicable and subject to change on a similar basis as for direct-hire USG employees will be added.

SECURITY AND MEDICAL CLEARANCE

The USPSC will be required to complete a full physical examination (including relevant immunizations) from his/her own physician and then obtain a medical clearance from State M/MED prior to service overseas. Also, USAID/Central Asia must initiate a security clearance prior to the Contractor’s travel to post of duty. Until a temporary or final adjudication of a security clearance is received, the contract shall not be signed.

If a candidate fails to obtain a security clearance (temporary or full) within six months, the offer may be retracted.        

IV. SUBMITTING AN OFFER

Submission of a résumé alone IS NOT a complete application. This position requires the completion of additional forms and/or supplemental materials as described in this section. Failure to provide the required information and/or materials will result in your not being considered for employment. All application packages are to be submitted via email to: tashkenthr@usaid.gov, citing the Solicitation number and the Position title.

Interested individuals meeting the Minimum Qualifications above are required to submit the following:

1. Complete and submit the offer form AID 309-2, “Offeror Information for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/documents/offeror-information-personal-services-contracts-individuals-aid-309-2.

 

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.

 

3. Offeror submissions must clearly reference the number of this Solicitation to ensure the offer is for the position in this Solicitation.

 

4. Cover letter and current résumé/curriculum vitae (CV). 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. Ensure the application covers the evaluation and selection criteria, as outlined in Section III of this solicitation.

 

5. Applicants must provide a minimum of three references within the last five years from the applicant’s professional life, namely individuals who are not family members or relatives. Ideally, 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.

 

6. Ensuring Adequate COVID-19 Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors – The Offeror will be required to show proof that the Offeror is fully vaccinated against COVID-19 on or before the first date of onboarding, or submit an approved reasonable accommodation to the CO. If the contractor does not meet this requirement the contract may be terminated.

V. LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSC HIRES

Once the Contracting Officer informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms will be provided. http://www.usaid.gov/forms

1. Medical History and Examination form (DS-6561)

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

for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)

3. Finger Print Card (FD-258)

4. Declaration for Federal Employment (OF-306)

The above listed forms shall only be completed upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.

VI. BENEFITS/ALLOWANCES

As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances:

1. BENEFITS (if applicable)

(a) Employer's FICA Contribution

(b) Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance

(c) Pay Comparability Adjustment

(d) Annual Increase (pending a satisfactory performance evaluation)

(e) Eligibility for Worker's Compensation

(f) Annual and Sick Leave

(g) Medevac insurance

(h) Access to Embassy medical facilities when in Tashkent, Uzbekistan

(i) Paid Parental Leave Benefit

(j) Relocation Expense Benefit

2. ALLOWANCES: (if Applicable)

The following allowances may be provided for PSCs located in foreign countries using rates prescribed under the Department of State Standardized Regulations (Government Civilian Foreign areas) available at

https://aoprals.state.gov/content.asp?content_id=282&menu_id=101:

(a) Post Allowance (Section 220)

(b) Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)

(c) Education Allowance (Section 270)

(d) Education Travel (Section 280)

(e) Post Differential (Chapter 500), and

(f) Payments during Evacuation/Authorized Departure (Section 600)

VII.  TAXES

It is the responsibility of the selected candidate to abide by the tax regulations. USPSCs are required to pay Federal income taxes, FICA, Medicare and applicable State Income taxes.

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

USAID regulations and policies governing USPSC awards are available at these sources:

  1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix D, “Direct USAID Contracts with a U.S. Citizen or a U.S. Resident Alien for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf .

 

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

 

  1. Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at  http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs .

 

  1. 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 .

 

Last updated: July 21, 2022

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