Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Congressional Relations Specialist in Washington, District Of Columbia

  • Duties

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Duties
Summary

This position is located in the Office of the Deputy Administrator of Legislative and Public Affairs in Washington, DC, and reports to the unit's Associate Deputy Administrator. The incumbent serves as APHIS’ Legislative Director, providing overall leadership for the legislative affairs team and serving as an expert advisor to Agency and Department leadership on legislative issues and strategic communications to Congressional stakeholders, State partners, and other governmental entities. The incumbent regularly communicates with a variety of individuals having diverse interests, including Congressional committees, industry and special interest groups, upper level Departmental officials, and others to build and sustain relationships, advocate for the Agency, solve problems, and provide information regarding Agency programs and policies. The incumbent also clearly and convincingly presents the views of the Department and Agency in legislative reports, proposals, briefings, and other communications.

Supervisors within APHIS are required to display proficiency in the following five competencies essential for leading and managing people: Accountability, Conflict Management, Developing Others, Human Capital Management and Leveraging Diversity. Examples of these competencies include holding self and others accountable for measurable high-quality, timely and cost-effective results; anticipating and taking steps to prevent counter-productive confrontations; developing staff members by providing coaching, training, regular guidance and career development opportunities; ensuring that employees are appropriately recruited, selected, appraised, and rewarded; taking appropriate action to address performance problems and fostering an inclusive workplace where diversity and individual differences are valued to achieve the vision and mission of the organization.

*Salary Information: *First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected

APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

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Responsibilities

The duties may include, but are not limited to:

  • Leads the legislative affairs team, identifying, distributing, and balancing workload and tasks among employees in accordance with established workflow and skill level, setting deadlines and prioritizing work, and making adjustments to accomplish workload in accordance with established priorities and deadlines.
  • Coaches the team in problem solving methods and techniques and provides advice and guidance on work methods, practices, and procedures , ensuring that the Agency and LPA Strategic plan, mission, vision and values are integrated into the team's strategies, goals, objectives , work plans and work products and services.
  • Sets yearly Agency legislative performance goals to ensure that Congressional Authorizing and Appropriating Committees, as well as key Members of Congress, receive in-depth information on Agency programs, including the benefits Agency programs provide. Leads the legislative affairs team in ensuring completion of the goals by the end of each fiscal year.
  • Identifies areas where APHIS programs may need to seek new legislative authority to effectively carry out the Agency’s mission.
  • Ensures that Agency and Department leaders remain aware of and informed about pending legislation and potential benefits to, or impacts on, APHIS.
  • Serves as APHIS’ liaison to USDA’s Office of Congressional Relations (OCR), Office of General Counsel (OGC) and Office of Budget and Program Analysis (OBPA), as well as counterparts in other agencies and departments, on legislative issues to develop and ensure consensus and consistent communications on issues from the Agency, Departmental and Administration perspective.
  • Provides leadership and coordinates team work related to the preparation for Congressional hearings by the Secretary of Agriculture, Under Secretary, Agency Administrator, and other senior executives.
  • Works closely with other LPA staffs to ensure consistent communications, limit the duplication of efforts, and share information that would assist with their efforts.
  • Provides guidance to Executive Communications staff on strategies to respond to congressional correspondence and reviews all congressional letters to ensure they reflect Agency policies and other communications on the topic.
Travel Required

25% or less - Travel for training and work assignments may be required.

Supervisory status

Yes

Promotion Potential

15

Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Permanent APHIS agency employees; CTAP/RPL/ICTAP eligibles; reinstatement eligibles; 30% or more disabled veterans; Individuals with Disabilities; former Peace Corps or VISTA volunteers; and those eligible for other Special Hiring Authorities.

Questions? This job is open to 5 groups.

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0301 Miscellaneous Administration And Program

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  • Requirements

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Requirements
Conditions of Employment
  • US Citizenship is required
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959

Special Conditions:

  • Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
  • Successful completion of a 1 year probationary period is required (if new hire to federal service).
  • Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
  • This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor.
Qualifications

Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience as defined below, etc.

TIME IN GRADE:Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

FOR THE GS-14 LEVEL:Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-13 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Experience communicating with Congressional staff, committees, State partners and other governmental entities to share information regarding Agency programs and policies through legislative reports, proposals, briefings, and other communications.
  • Experience serving as a senior member or Lead on a high-level communications driven team, training the staff on Agency issues and programs, problem solving methods and techniques, and office procedures to ensure legislative performance goals are met.
  • Experience developing strategies for significant Agency announcements, rulemaking and other initiatives, ensuring that the strategies include targeted communications and messaging specifically for Congressional partners and related stakeholders.

(Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.)

FOR THE GS-15 LEVEL: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-14 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:

  • Experience building and sustaining partnerships with a variety of individuals with diverse interests, including Congressional staff, committees, industry and special interest groups, to share information, solve problems and advocate for the Agency.
  • Experience leading a high-level communications driven team, training the staff on Agency issues and programs, problem solving methods and techniques, and office procedures to ensure legislative performance goals are met.
  • Experience analyzing and identifying problems or areas where new legislative authority is needed to effectively carry out the Agency’s mission, researching and evaluating potential legislative options, and executing strategies for closing these gaps. (Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.) Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Education
Additional information
  • Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/. To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.

  • More than one selection may be made if another vacancy occurs within 90 days of the issuance of the certification of eligibles.

  • Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDAs TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
  • Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.
  • Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
  • E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
  • It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: http://www.chcoc.gov/transmittals/TransmittalDetails.aspx?TransmittalID=6465

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience, education, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Assessment Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:

  • Leadership, supervisory, and management competencies.
  • Communication skills: Written, Oral, & Interpersonal.
  • Legislative and Congressional Affairs.
  • Ability to communicate in writing to a variety of users, stakeholders, and other group.

Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need to meet minimum qualifications to be referred.

Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.

To view the application form, visit: https://aphis.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid;=80C4FA32-0747-4F2B-B14D-A8BE00B83050

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

  • Required Documents

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Required Documents

The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.

  • Resume that includes the following information: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisor's phone number for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 5) other qualifications.
  • College TranscriptsIf education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the education was evaluated by a credential evaluation service as being equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit http://www.naces.org/members.htm; All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

Other required documents as applicable:

  • Current/Former Career/Career-Conditional:MUST submit a copy of an SF-50, non-award Notification of Personnel Action, which documents competitive civil service status and preferably shows your current grade/position. In order to demonstrate competitive civil service status, the "position occupied" block on the SF-50 should show a "1" and your "tenure" block should show a "1" or "2". If your current grade is not your highest permanent grade, submit a copy of an additional SF-50 showing your highest grade.
  • In addition, current and former Federal employees must submit their most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable (e.g., length of time in current position, etc.). Performance plans will not be accepted.
  • Veteran Hiring Authorities:(VEOA, VRA, and 30% Disabled Veterans): DD-214 (Member 4 Copy). DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions that is signed no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
  • If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference see http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
  • Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities: Schedule A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
  • CTAP/ICTAP: Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, or appropriate OPM/Agency certification; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position from which you will be separated.
  • Other Special Hiring Authority: If claiming eligibility under a special hiring authority not listed above, see the requirements for that authority and submit the required supporting documentation. Special Hiring Authorities
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

  • Benefits

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Benefits

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

The Federal Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at: https://www.usa.gov/benefits-for-federal-employees

Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

  • How to Apply

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How to Apply

Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin. The following instructions outline our application process.

  • You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
  • We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
  • This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.

Step 1: Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at www.usajobs.gov. It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.

Step 2: Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).

Step 3: Click "Apply Online" and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required. You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on "Application Status." Click on the position title, and then select "Update Application” to continue.

NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).

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Agency contact information
Human Resources
Phone

612-336-3227

Fax

612-336-3500

Email

MRP.APPLICATION.HELP@aphis.usda.gov

Address

USDA APHIS MRPBS 250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 410 Minneapolis, MN, United States

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Next steps

If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.

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  • Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

  • Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants

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Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.

Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • New employee probationary period

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/496662600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.

Open & closing dates: 04/16/2018 to 04/20/2018

Salary: $114,590 to $164,200 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 14 - 15

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent