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USPSC Senior Technical and Policy Advisor - (WBG / WRI)

Solicitation Number: 294-2012-100
Agency: Agency for International Development
Office: Overseas Missions
Location: West Bank, Gaza USAID-West Bank
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294-2012-100
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Combined Synopsis/Solicitation
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Added: Oct 05, 2012 5:06 am
Solicitation for a US Personal Services Contract (PSC)
Senior Technical & Policy Advisor - West Bank/Gaza


SOLICITATION NO.: PSC 294-2012-100
ISSUANCE DATE: October 5, 2012
CLOSING DATE: November 4, 2012


Ladies/Gentlemen:


The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking qualified individuals interested in providing US Personal Services Contract (PSC) services as described below.


Submissions shall be in accordance with the below information at the place and time specified.


Applicants interested in applying for this position MUST follow the application guidance as specified in section J, "HOW TO APPLY", in the below solicitation.


In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must meet the Minimum Qualifications listed in the solicitation. Consideration and selection will be based on a panel evaluation of the applications vis-à-vis the Evaluation Criteria. Applicants should note that the salary history for the purposes of the OF-612 is the base salary paid, excluding benefits and allowances such as housing, travel, educational support, etc. Applicants are reminded and required to sign the certification at the end of the OF-612.


Any questions regarding this solicitation may be directed to Mr. Brian Carney, S/EXO, who may be reached at E-mail address: hrwbg@usaid.gov.

Submission of applications as well as the required documents should be sent to hrwbg@usaid.gov or via Fax No. 972-3-511-4894.


Applicants should retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their applications.


This solicitation does not represent a commitment on behalf of the USAID. The U.S. Government is not obligated to make an award or to pay for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of an application in response to this solicitation.


USAID reserves the right to award all or none of the contracts contemplated herein, subject to availability of funds.



Sincerely,


 


Brian Carney
Supervisory Executive Officer
USAID/West Bank and Gaza
SOLICITATION NO: PSC 294-2012-100


ISSUANCE DATE: October 5, 2012


CLOSING DATE: November 4, 2012 by 16:30 Tel Aviv local time


POSITION TITLE: Senior Technical and Policy Advisor


MARKET VALUE: GS-15 salary range ($99,628 - $129,517)
In addition to the salary, the Mission has a Cost Of Living Allowance (COLA) and Danger Pay. The salary will be negotiated within the listed market value based upon the candidate's past salary, work history, and educational background.


PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: Two years


PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: USAID/West Bank and Gaza Mission offices, Tel Aviv, Israel


POSITION TITLE OF DIRECT SUPERVISOR: The Senior Technical and Policy Advisor will work under the general supervision and policy guidance of the USAID/West Bank and Gaza Water Resources and Infrastructure Office Director.


LEVEL OF SECURITY CLEARANCE: Secret Clearance


AREA OF CONSIDERATION: U.S. Citizens only



STATEMENT OF WORK:


I. BACKGROUND


(A) Mission Program:


President Obama's goal of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a core United States (U.S.) national security objective and the long-term focus of the USAID West Bank and Gaza (USAID/WBG) Mission. In an extraordinarily complex political, policy, legal, and security operating environment, USAID/WBG is frequently at the forefront of political discourse and foreign policy implementation in the region. Through assistance activities in five technical areas --- Water Resources and Infrastructure, Democracy and Governance, Education and Youth, Private Enterprise, and Health and Humanitarian Assistance --- USAID is working with key stakeholders within the Palestinian Authority (PA) to help build the institutions and foundational infrastructure of a viable, democratic Palestinian state living in peace and security with Israel.


Since 1994, USAID has provided approximately $3.4 billion of economic assistance to Palestinians, $1.2 billion of which has been used to support Palestinian water resources and infrastructure development. Infrastructure development has been prioritized by the PA as one of the four National Pillars of Palestinian development, as articulated in the Palestinian National Development Plan (PNDP) for 2011-2013.



(B) Water Resources and Infrastructure Office:


Created in 1994, the Water Resources and Infrastructure (WRI) Office administers all infrastructure related assistance through the Mission's Development Objective 14: Access to Better Quality Water and Other Infrastructure. Today, USAID is one of the largest donors in the infrastructure sector. More than half of USAID/WBG funding over the past several years has been devoted to supporting the development of Palestinian infrastructure.


The WRI Office's objective is to increase and improve Palestinian access to public infrastructure and services and to support the PA's infrastructure development and capacity strengthening priorities. Through infrastructure improvements and the creation of jobs and professional development opportunities, USAID is building local implementation capacity, helping promote economic growth and improving the quality of life of Palestinians. Projects include the construction and rehabilitation of water systems and distribution networks, roads, sanitation systems, clinics, schools, and other community facilities.


In the water sector, USAID's strategy has aimed directly at one of the greatest needs in this arid region: increase the quantity and reliability of water supplies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The Mission has financed both large-scale well-drilling and water pipeline projects in the Bethlehem-Hebron and Jenin areas as well as smaller, village-scale projects throughout the West Bank and Gaza. The Mission is also providing improved systems, training, and hands‐on technical assistance to strengthen the Palestinian Water Authority's capacity to better operate and maintain its growing water system. This effort, together with the rehabilitation of aged and leaking pipelines, is reducing water losses and improving the sustainable use of limited water resources for the growing Palestinian population. Through this assistance, USAID has improved the quantity and reliability of potable water supply to more than 1,500,000 Palestinian beneficiaries.


USAID has also been addressing severe development challenges in the wastewater sector. Less than half of the Palestinian population of the West Bank is connected to a wastewater/sewerage network. Only about 25 percent to 35 percent of the wastewater is collected; less than 3 percent is treated. USAID is supporting a big push in this sector, having recently completed nine wastewater network projects and installed 30 kilometers of sewage collection lines that connect communities in the West Bank and in Gaza to existing sewage collection systems. The Mission has also designed and is obtaining permits for six wastewater treatment plants in the West Bank, which will collectively treat approximately 15,500 cubic meters of wastewater per day in six community clusters (approximately 5.6 million cubic meters per year).


In the transport sector, USAID has been addressing development constraints caused by poor road infrastructure and restrictions that prohibit the PA from maintaining roads in approximately 60 percent of the West Bank. In the past 10 years over 400 kilometers of roads have been rehabilitated. In fiscal year 2011 alone, USAID constructed or rehabilitated 366 km of roads, nearly all in the West Bank. This is part of a larger USAID effort to restore transportation infrastructure that is vital for improved mobility and economic growth.
Additionally, USAID has supported the construction or rehabilitation of a variety of other infrastructure. Working with other technical offices of the Mission, in the last three years the WRI Office has constructed or rehabilitated 114 schools with 767 classrooms, 18 community health clinics, seven hospitals, 34 youth centers and 10 municipal buildings and other public facilities. The WRI Office has also equipped more than 100 schools throughout the West Bank with desks and chairs and modern science, computer, media and sports equipment. As a result, more than 3,000 students a year and 420,000 people are benefiting from increased access to improved education and health facilities.


II. POSITION DESCRIPTION


A. BASIC FUNCTION OF THE POSITION


The incumbent will serve as the Senior Technical and Policy Advisor (STPA) of the WRI Office at the USAID/WBG Mission located in Tel Aviv, Israel. This position reports directly to the WRI Office Director and is expected to help strengthen and advance infrastructure development and capacity strengthening in the Palestinian context. The incumbent serves as the Mission's primary advisor on all water and infrastructure related development and policy matters, often surrounded by an unusually high degree of political sensitivity, especially as they relate to potentially controversial, high profile Middle East peace process issues. Responsibilities include the full range of counterpart engagement, planning, program design and oversight functions, with significant delegations of authority for project/activity implementation.


B. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE POSITION


Specific duties and responsibilities are focused on providing leadership and management/support, including but not limited to:


• Establishing USAID water and infrastructure development priorities and conducting policy dialogue with Palestinian decision-makers;


• Representing USAID and the United States Government (USG) to PA and Government of Israel (GOI) officials, other donors, the private sector, international organizations and USG leadership;


• Co-chairing the Infrastructure Strategy Group (along with the PA), the primary forum for water and infrastructure related donor coordination, and facilitating harmonious and effective coordination among international donors;


• Coordinating the execution and management of procurement actions required to implement the Mission's water and infrastructure development programs as needed;


• Initiating and managing (and/or supervising the management of) a wide range of water and infrastructure related activities; coordinating activity implementation with Palestinian counterparts; and making strategic and activity-level adjustments as appropriate;
• Effectively articulating the interests and policy of USAID and the USG to key counterparts, including PA ministers, local mayors and municipal officials, GOI and Israeli Defense Forces officials, civil society leaders, and others;


• Responding to and fulfilling Mission Front Office, Agency and Inter-Agency requests;


• Ensuring WRI Office and implementing partner compliance with administrative policies and directives, including the Mission's anti-terrorism policies and procedures;


• With the support of the WRI Office team, advising USAID/WBG's Front Office, U.S. Embassy/Tel Aviv, U.S. Consulate/Jerusalem, senior USAID/Washington personnel and technical offices, and the PA regarding key infrastructure development-related issues affecting policy, strategic planning, technical assistance, programming, activity design, budgeting, implementation, monitoring, managing for results, and other USAID program management matters;


• Duties may include, but not be limited to, the following:


o Assist in the management of WRI programs and activities to successfully implement WRI and USAID strategic objectives;

o Conduct briefing sessions for implementing partners and stakeholders;


o Assist with interagency and external relations;


o Directly supervise and oversee the work of local technical staff.

• Participate as a member of the Office of Middle East Programs (OMEP) team, providing leadership and expert assistance on water resources and infrastructure for USAID Missions in the region and for the Middle East Bureau at USAID/Washington. Supporting the design and implementation of OMEP regional programs and activities. Providing briefings to visitors and other actors on the status of water resources and infrastructure issues in the Middle East region and USAID's programs in this area. Developing and strengthening working relationships with key partners, including regional and international bodies, international organizations and other donors, private sector, nongovernmental organizations, universities and the media to identify and implement efforts to increase synergy among the key stakeholders; and


• Performing other duties and tasks as required by the Mission.


 


 


C. POSITION ELEMENTS


Supervisory Controls: The STPA is expected to demonstrate a high level of leadership, independence, professionalism, judgment, and responsibility. S/he will report directly to the WRI Office Director, who will be responsible for managing the contractor's performance.


Authority to make commitments: The STPA will have authorities related to technical and administrative management of the WRI Office and other assigned activities as are specified and delegated. In addition, s/he will play a key role in defining the Mission's decisions regarding funding WRI Office programs, projects and activities, the provision of technical assistance, and other activities related to effective management of USAID resources.


Nature, level, and purpose of contacts: The STPA will work on a daily basis with WRI Office team members, Mission Front Office leadership, other Mission Office Directors, as well as with a wide range of other technical and administrative support staff in the Mission. The incumbent will have frequent high level contact with key leaders and stakeholders within the Palestinian Water Authority, the West Bank Water Department, the PA's Ministry of Public Works and Housing, Ministry of Local Government, the GOI Ministry of Defense Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Israeli Water Authority, UN agencies, international donor organizations, USAID/Washington, and with other USG offices. The STPA will interact on a routine basis with implementing partners, including corporate executives, Chiefs of Party and other senior project management leaders. In addition, the incumbent's regional responsibilities as a member of the OMEP team will require frequent interaction with key Middle East region water and infrastructure stakeholders including government officials, International Organization principals, senior US Government officials, and other public and private sector stakeholders.


Exercise of Judgment: Independent judgment must be exercised on a broad range of program planning and project management issues and when meeting with implementing partner management and technical staff, Palestinian officials, Israeli officials, nongovernmental organization counterparts, and other donors. The STPA must be able to analyze complex situations and identify the requirements needed to resolve problems in a politically expedient manner. The incumbent must be able to recognize requests for decisions or positions that require prior USAID review and approval.


Supervision Exercised: The position normally supervises three to four local WRI Office Foreign Service National (FSN) staff; develops and monitors staff work plans; completes performance reviews; and ensures staff coverage of major portfolio and other activities in the infrastructure sector. In addition to the STPA, the WRI Office includes nine staff (two U.S. Direct Hires (USDHs) and seven FSNs, including three Senior Engineers).


Available Guidelines: USAID's Automated Directives System (ADS); Mission Orders; established USAID/WBG administrative procedures and regulations; standard accounting, auditing and financial management operating procedures and systems requirements; the Palestinian National Development Plan 2011-2013, implementing partners contracts, grants and associated documents (i.e. work plans, Performance Monitoring Plan, sub-contracts/sub-awards, etc.); Mission Strategic Plan; and Annual Operational Plan.


Skills and Abilities: This is a senior management position within the USAID/WBG Mission. Because of the complex policy, legal, political, and security environment, a broad combination of technical, analytical, and managerial abilities are required, combined with excellent interpersonal, communications, and writing skills. The Mission seeks a strategic thinker with proven infrastructure development experience, including implementation of new strategies, approaches, programs and projects, activity design and on-going program management, as well as strong managerial, administrative, and supervision skills. The varied duties and responsibilities of the STPA also call for broad professional education, training, and knowledge, related to both the technical and political aspects of water and infrastructure policies and activities. Expert knowledge of and experience with US foreign policy goals and objectives for the Middle East region is required. Prior experience as an effective senior-level advisor and/or manager in USAID or another donor or international development agency is preferred. Previous experience in the region would also be helpful.


The incumbent must also demonstrate mastery of a range of technical skill sets, including but not limited to experience at least one of the following areas: infrastructure design or engineering; construction management; water utility management/administration; and quality improvement/performance improvement for public infrastructure services. The varied duties and responsibilities also call for broad professional education, training, and knowledge, including familiarity with US foreign policy goals and objectives for the Middle East.


Time Required to Perform Full Range of Duties: The incumbent is expected to perform the full range of duties within the first month.



D. REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS AND EVALUATION CRITERIA
In order to be considered for the position, a candidate must be a U.S. citizen and must submit an application in accordance with the guidance provided. Consideration and selection will be based on a panel evaluation of the evaluation criteria. Interviews and a writing exercise may be requested, and professional references will be checked at the discretion of the USAID/WBG Mission. Applicants are required to prepare a brief narrative demonstrating how education, experience, and skills address the evaluation criteria listed below.
Candidates must also have effective computer skills particularly in Microsoft Office. The selected candidate must be willing to travel to Jerusalem and to the West Bank. Depending on location, travel to the West Bank may require a security escort, which will be provided by the Mission. Travel to Gaza is prohibited at this time. Periodic regional or international travel may also be required.
The selected candidate must be able to obtain USAID secret security clearance. This process involves a comprehensive background investigation performed by the appropriate U.S. Government Agency. A U.S. State Department medical clearance will also be required. Details on how to obtain a medical clearance will be provided once a job offer is made and accepted.


EVALUATION/SELECTION CRITERIA


EDUCATION: (10 points)


A Bachelor's degree in engineering, construction management or a related field is required. Additional education would be considered a benefit.


WORK EXPERIENCE: (50 points)


A minimum of fifteen years of demonstrated technical and managerial leadership in engineering, construction or infrastructure development is required. At least four years of the work history must include experience with a bilateral or multilateral donor organization. Previous experience as a senior level advisor or infrastructure-related office director or deputy is highly desirable.


Expertise in the design and management of technically relevant activities and demonstrated mastery of a range of infrastructure development and planning skill sets is required.


KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES: (40 points)

Demonstrated experience in a team environment and excellent skills as a program manager are required. Strong interpersonal skills and proven ability to work effectively in a culturally diverse context are required. Superior oral and written communication skills in English are required. Arabic and/or Hebrew language skills are considered a benefit. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain high level contacts with a host country government, donor organizations, bilateral and multilateral agencies, and private-sector organizations is necessary. Experience with and knowledge of US foreign policy goals and objectives for the Middle East region is required. Excellent time management skills and ability to cope effectively with a fast-paced, sometimes stressful work environment are essential.


E. COMPENSATION


The position has been classified at a GS-15 level. The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated within the GS-15 pay band, depending on qualifications and previous salary history. It is unlikely that an individual will be selected who does not already have the prior training and experience to fully perform at the GS-15 level, or who in some other way does not fully meet all requirements for the position. However, should such an individual be offered a position, the offered salary may be at less than the minimum salary in the GS-15 pay band.


F. PHYSICAL DEMANDS


The working environment at the USAID/WBG Mission is stressful due to the ongoing conflict. Due to the unpredictable security situation, travel of all Americans, including U.S. Personal Services Contractors (USPSCs), to West Bank, is subject to the Regional Security Officer's approval and, depending on location, may require a security escort. Travel to Gaza is not permitted.


G. WORK ENVIRONMENT


The WRI Office is comprised of two USDH Engineering Officers and seven FSNs (including three Senior Engineers). The WRI Office is the largest technical office in the Mission. The USAID/WBG Mission is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. The Mission works closely with the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem and the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv.


H. DURATION OF CONTRACT


The term of the contract shall be for twenty four (24) months.


I. START DATE


The contractor should be available to start as soon as possible subject to appropriate medical and security clearances.



J. HOW TO APPLY


INSTRUCTIONS to APPLICANTS:


(a) Interested individuals must submit the most current CV or resume along with a cover letter addressing the Evaluation/Selection Criteria in this solicitation.


(b) Applicants are required to submit an Optional Application for Federal Employment Form (OF-612) with hand-written signature and continuation sheets (available at the USAID website, http://www.usaid.gov/forms/ or at Federal offices).


(c) Applicants are required to provide three to five references with their complete and current contact information.


LIST OF REQUIRED FORMS FOR PSCS:


1. Optional Form 612 found at: http://www.usaid.gov/forms


Other additional forms, some of which are listed below shall be completed ONLY upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job:


1. Contractor Physical Examination (AID Form 1420-62)
2. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security)(SF-86)
3. Finger Print Card (FD-258)


This solicitation is issued as of the date of this letter and closes on November 4, 2012 at 16:30 local Tel Aviv time. This office must receive your application prior to the closing date and time in order for you to be considered for this position.


Please send your application to the attention of Mr. Brian Carney, either via email at hrwbg@usaid.gov or by fax to fax number 972-3-511-4894.


This solicitation does not represent a commitment on behalf of the USAID. The U.S. Government is not obligated to make an award or to pay for any costs associated with the preparation and submission of an application in response to this solicitation. Awarding a contract is subject to the availability of funds.


BENEFITS AND ALLOWANCES:

AS A MATTER OF POLICY, AND AS APPROPRIATE, A PSC IS NORMALLY AUTHORIZED THE FOLLOWING BENEFITS:


1. BENEFITS


Employee's FICA Contribution
Contribution toward Health and Life Insurance
Pay Comparability Adjustment
Annual Increase
Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
Annual & Sick Leave


2. ALLOWANCES (If Applicable): **


(A) Temporary Lodging Allowance (Section 120)
(B) Living Quarters Allowance (Section 130)
(C) Post Allowance (Section 220)
(D) Supplemental Post Allowance (Section 230)
(E) Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)
(F) Education Allowance (Section 270)
(G) Education Travel (Section 280)
(H) Post Differential (Chapter 500)
(I) Payments during Evacuation/Authorized
Departure (Section 600), and
(J) Danger Pay (Section 650)


** Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas)


FEDERAL TAXES: USPSCs are required to pay Federal Income Taxes, FICA, and Medicare.



CONTRACT INFORMATION BULLETINS (CIBs) and ACQUISITION & ASSISTANCE POLICY DIRECTIVES (AAPDs) PERTAINING TO PSCs:


CIBs and AAPDs contain changes to USAID policy and General Provisions in USAID regulations and contracts. Please refer to
http://transition.usaid.gov/business/business_opportunities/cib/subject.html#psc to determine which CIBs and AAPDs apply to this contract.



Additionally, AIDAR Appendixes D or J also applicable to PSCs can be found at: http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar.pdf


 


ALL QUALIFIED APPLICANTS WILL BE CONSIDERED REGARDLESS OF AGE, RACE, COLOR, SEX, CREED, NATIONAL ORIGIN, LAWFUL POLITICAL AFFILIATION, NON-DISQUALIFYING DISABILITY, MARITAL STATUS, SEXUAL ORIENTATION, AFFILIATION WITH AN EMPLOYEE ORGANIZATION, OR OTHER NON-MERIT FACTOR.


 


 

:
Amer Emb/Tel Aviv
Unit #7228
APO, 09892-0206
:
USAID West Bank & Gaza Mission - Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv,
Israel
:
Brian Carny,
Supervisory Executive Officer
Phone: 97235114853
Fax: 97235114894
:
Diana Zubi,
Human Resources Specialist
Phone: 97235114856
Fax: 97235114894