Job Opportunities

Contract Specialist

Vacancy Announcement:
Pay Series:


Opening Date:
Jun 2, 2020
Closing Date:
Aug 2, 2020
Number of Vacancies:
Position Type:
Full-time, permanent

Public Defender Service
Office of Budget and Finance
633 Indiana Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004

Who May Appy:
U.S. Citizens and those authorized to work in the United States

Salary: AD12/13 $86,335 - $133,465 (equivalent to GS-12/13)

Promotion Potential: AD-13 (equivalent to GS-13)

If grade 12 selection, the incumbent may be promoted without further competition upon completion of one year of exemplary performance, subject to approval of the PDS Director.

Organization Description:

PDS Overview: The Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia (PDS) is a federally funded, independent organization governed by an eleven-member Board of Trustees. PDS provides legal representation to individuals facing a loss of freedom in the local criminal, delinquency, and mental health systems in the District of Columbia. PDS’s approximately 214 employees, comprised of attorneys, social workers, investigative specialists, administrative, and technical staff, collaborate with each other to advance the PDS mission. District of Columbia residency is not a requirement for employment.

Employment at the Public Defender Service (PDS) is neither federal nor District of Columbia government employment, and all employees are at-will.

Division Description: To support PDS’s holistic approach to public defense, the Office of Budget and Finance (OBF) provides planning, oversight, management and stability of all financial activities including accounting, financial management, procurement, and budget operations. The OBF mission is to protect the organization’s assets through effective financial planning and management, enhance fiscal integrity, ensure accurate and comprehensive financial reporting and analysis, and enable the achievement of PDS’ mission through the strategic allocation and optimization of resources.

Position Description:
The main responsibility of the Senior Procurement Specialist is to ensure that the comprehensive procurement and acquisition needs of PDS are met in a timely and cost-effective manner and in line with Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) as well as PDS established policies. 
Essential Duties:
  • Execute all procurement phases of the acquisition process, from initiation to recommendation of award, to procure goods or services from government and non-government sources through new contracts, competitive bids, or existing government contracts.
  • Performs a full range of contract administration actions required for the PDS program including development of Requests for Information (RFI) and/or Proposals (RFP) and/or other solicitations, modifications, negotiation of changes, exercise of options, evaluation of performance, investigation and resolution of issues with performance or delays, disposition of claims, termination and closeout.
  • Provides acquisition advice and assistance to program managers and other PDS staff in the administration of contracts and interagency agreements and assists in resolution of issues that arise during the term of contract or agreement.
  • Develops procurement objectives for the program in terms of competition and price range, and constructs the contractual vehicle including use of pricing arrangements, subcontracting policy, bet-aside policies, and similar considerations. Prepares and maintains current acquisition plans, appropriate milestone charts, and related schedules to meet long and short range program goals.
  • Performs detailed analyses of all elements of cost in contractor proposals, and makes competitive range determinations.
  • Serves as contracting representative in systematic reviews to assure that PDS needs are met and validated. Responsibilities include redirection of effort, coordination of time extension, incorporation of change orders, issuance of stop work orders, issuance of cure notices or show cause letters, terminations of contract.
  • Works with program staff to define requirements and develop specifications and assist in the preparation of statements of work.
  • Utilizes an automated system to track purchases and expenditures, as well as provides expenditure information regularly for budget and control purposes.
  • Maintains and develop reports on a comprehensive set of acquisition data including but not limited to: purchasing records and reports, including inventory disposal control records; electronic procurement and contractor files; statistical data on PDS contracting activities
  • Recommends policies and procedures for contracting and acquisition and develops and implements various procurement-training programs.
  • Applies extensive experience in developing federal specific contracts and agreements.
  • Utilizes outstanding knowledge of software license terms and regulations.
  • Utilizes thorough knowledge of facility management solutions.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned.
Required Qualifications:

Educational Requirements (all candidates must meet both educational requirements)

1. A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor’s degree with a major in any field; or at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, public administration, or organization and management.

Experience Requirements

Three years of specialized experience, one of which must have been professional experience at a level of difficulty comparable to the next lowest grade level.  Specialized experience is progressively responsible professional or administrative experience related to the functions of purchasing and procurement, and space facilities management.  Such experience should have provided a comprehensive knowledge of the practice and procedures used in these processes, as well as knowledge of the administrative requirements needed to support these activities. 

Specialized experience includes (but is not limited to):

  • Experience with contract solicitation, award and administration procedures and techniques, including applying contracting principles, laws, regulations and procedures to pre-award and post-award actions, sufficient to procure and administer contracts for a variety of services, products, equipment and other goods.
  • Experience analyzing and solving problems related to contractual issues and make recommendations.
  • Experience utilizing various contract vehicles including indefinite delivery indefinite quantity, purchase orders, interagency agreements, and blanket order agreements.
  • Experience using program or technical requirements to perform or direct evaluations of the financial and technical capabilities or the performance of the contractor.
  • Experience preparing statements of work in collaboration with program personnel and prepares appropriate file documentation as required by the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), including justifications.
  • Experience resolving pricing conflicts and placing bids with different vendors as required

Three years of general experience. 

General experience in executing administrative functions, including best practices such as filing, typing, electronic and paper record keeping. Candidate must possess strong math, analytical, organizational, and communication skills, which are essential qualifications for success.

Working with general instruction, adapt and apply principles, concepts, processes, tools and methodologies to solve real-world problems. Must be a detail-oriented, team player, possessing negotiation skills and the ability to work independently as needed. An understanding of federal operations and processes is important.

Additionally, must possess strong interpersonal skills, as candidates will be expected to work with a diverse number of stakeholders, such as PDS executives, suppliers, vendors, and supply chain managers.  Prepare and/or contribute to technical reports, memos, analyses and briefings. Plan and manage assigned efforts. Support meetings, inter-team communication, and issue-resolution with external and internal stakeholder groups.

General experience includes (but is not limited to):

Experience using the full suite of Microsoft Office applications: from Microsoft Word, used to create correspondence and reports, to Excel, used for producing spreadsheets on supply costs and comparisons.  Candidate should be adept at using all Microsoft Office applications.

Along with these crucial skills, it is important that to have a demonstrable track record of being able to:

  • Assess costs and negotiate vendor and supply prices,
  • Analyze supply needs and ensure PDS is getting the best possible material,
  • Manage inventory and order supplies and materials as needed,
  • Resolve pricing conflicts and place bids with different vendors as required
Preferred Qualifications:
  • Certification at Level II in either Federal Acquisition Certification in Contracting (FAC-C) or Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act (DAWIA Certification).
  • Experience implementing performance-based contract requirements
  • Experience using various federal supply chain software products to record transactions, manage supplier information, etc.
  • Warranted Leasing Officer
  • Experience supervising or leading a team of junior level contracting staff
Application Evaluation:

How you will be evaluated: Your application package includes your letter of interest, résumé and requested supporting documents. Please ensure your application package includes detailed information to support your qualifications for this position. Failure to provide sufficient evidence in your application package and requested supporting documents can result in a rejection of your application package.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities (KSAs) Required: In addition to a traditional resume, candidates should submit a separate narrative statement addressing the following quality ranking factors. These factors will be used to distinguish the best-qualified applicants from a group of persons basically qualified for the position. Failure to submit your narrative response for this position will negatively affect your eligibility and/or rating for this position.

  1. Knowledge of Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) including the Federal Acquisition Streamlining Act, Government procurement policies and procedures, FAR clauses, in order to develop, improve, and administer the PDS procurement program.
  2. Ability to conduct negotiations with industry representatives in order to negotiate acceptable agreements in terms of technical, price, contract terms and conditions, and in resolving problems.
  3. Knowledge of various contract types and pricing provisions necessary to independently make analyses and modification recommendations.
  4. Ability to communicate orally and in writing in order to advise program and project managers, COTRS, supervisors, higher level managers, and others regarding pertinent contracting options as well as legal and regulatory requirements and procedures, propose sound and effective acquisition procurement strategies, and provide sensitive recommendations clearly, persuasively and diplomatically


Rating: Your application package will be rated and ranked among other applicants, based on your experience, education, training, performance appraisals, and awards relevant to the duties of this position. Your rating can be lowered if your application package is not supported by the requested documents.


Referral: If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application package will be referred to a hiring manager for consideration at which time you may be invited to participate in a selection interview.


*Priority Consideration: Applications will be reviewed on first cut-off date of 07/02/2020. Applications received on or before the first cut-off date will receive priority consideration. Interviews and final selection may occur after the first cut-off date, but prior to the closing date listed.



Non-local candidates (outside 60 miles) can request to be interviewed via WebEx or other electronic means.



PDS is funded by federal appropriations, and employees are entitled to participate in federal benefits plans, federal retirement systems, and the workers compensation program. Transferring federal employees will receive recognition of creditable federal service for leave accrual and retirement (if applicable) purposes. Benefits include:

Federal Employees Retirement Systems (retirement annuity)
Thrift Savings Plan (similar to a 401K program)
Federal Employees Health Benefits (health insurance)
Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (life insurance)
Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program
Flexible Spending Accounts (for health care and dependent care)
Long Term Care
Public Transportation Subsidy (funding contingent)
Parking Space Lottery
Employee Assistance Program
Federal Occupational Health (access to health clinic and services)

How To Apply:

Applicants must submit the following:

  • Cover Letter
  • Resume
  • Official college transcripts (if available; otherwise, they must be provided within 30 days if selected)
  • Copy of FAC-C or DAWIA certification (if applicable)
  • Narrative statement addressing the four Knowledge, Skills; and Abilities listed above
  • List of three professional references
  • Copy of the most recent performance appraisal 
  • Explanation why leaving current, or left most recent, employment (include in resume or cover letter)

Please submit your application package via email as MS Word or PDF documents to the following email address: The vacancy number and title of the vacancy MUST APPEAR on the subject line of the email. Application packages submitted with missing information can affect referring application package to the hiring manager. PDS does not accept application packages by mail or fax.

For applicants with disabilities, this organization provides reasonable accommodations which will be decided on a case-by-case basis. To request a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application or interview process, please contact Jenni Salas, HR Specialist at (202) 824-2420 or at

PDS is an Equal Opportunity Employer and E-Verify Participating Agency.