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Solicitation for Personal Services Contractor (PSC) for Northern Uganda Advisor, USAID/Uganda

Issuance Date: July 29, 2009

Closing Date: August 24, 2009

The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)/Uganda, is seeking applications from qualified U.S. citizens only interested in providing PSC services as described in the attached solicitation.

Applicants interested in applying for this position MUST submit the following materials:

  1. Complete and hand-signed federal form OF-612.
  2. Supplemental document specifically addressing the four (4) Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) shown in the solicitation
  3. Most current curriculum vitae or resume.
  4. Three (3) to five (5) references with current contact information.

No exceptions to the minimum document submission requirements will be allowed.  Incomplete applications will not be reviewed.

All application reviews will be based on the documentation submitted with the application.  Applications that are incomplete or received without a handwritten signature and supplemental QRF document will not be considered for the position. Applicants are responsible for submitting materials that are in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified. There will be no exceptions.

References must be able to provide substantive information about past performance relevant to the applicant’s ability to execute the duties and responsibilities as detailed in the scope of work.  USAID/Uganda reserves the right to obtain from previous employers relevant information concerning the applicant’s past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation.

Any questions may be directed to Grace Nakaddu or Grace Muntu, who may be reached by email gnakaddu@usaid.gov or gmuntu@usaid.gov telephone 256-414-259-791/5 or 256-414-306-001 or fax 256-414-306-661.

Offerors should retain for their record copies of all enclosures, which accompany their applications.

Sincerely,

Markus D. Dausses
Contracting Officer
 
Attachment to Solicitation for Personal Services Contractor Northern Uganda Advisor USAID/Uganda

Solicitation Number:   

617-0000-09-0002

Issuance Date:

July 29, 2009  

Closing Date:

August 24, 2009

Position Title: Perios

Northern Uganda Advisor 

Market Value:    

GS-14 

Place of Performance: 

Gulu, Uganda

Period of Performance:

One year from date of appointment with a preferable start date of on or about November 1, 2009 or sooner if possible, with the option of an additional year extension, as required by the needs of U.S. Government and upon mutual agreement with the incumbent contractor.  The U.S. Government shall give the contractor a preliminary notice of its intent to extend at least thirty (30) days before the contract expires.  This preliminary notice does not commit the Government to an extension.

Market Value

The position is classified at the equivalent of a GS-14.  The annual salary range is $83,445 - $108,483.  Salary will be negotiated within this range and determined based on past salary and work history, experience, and educational background of the successful candidate.

Position Description: Background:

Northern Uganda has been beset by conflict for the last 20 years stemming from the armed insurgency of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA).   The conflict has been characterized by the burning of huts and villages, rampant killing and mutilations, ambushes, abductions, sexual violence.  This insurgency has resulted in the displacement of approximately 1.8 million people throughout the three districts of Acholiland and into the eastern regions of Teso and Lango.  Since the initiation in 2006 of the Juba Peace Process the situation in northern Uganda has improved dramatically. Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are returning home and fields are under cultivation.  USAID is focused on the reconstruction and development phase of the recovery process in northern Uganda and as such programming faces the challenge of how to respond to the increasing needs of returnees in this dynamic environment. USAID programming in northern Uganda includes activities in the areas of health, education, agriculture, economic development, governance and conflict mitigation in addition to quick impact recovery activities carried out by the Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI).

Introduction

Basic FuncUSAID has been providing assistance in Uganda since 1961, working hand-in-hand with partners in government, non-governmental and private sectors.  Uganda is of significant U.S. interest; a stable Uganda is critical to addressing regional security.  The U.S. is, therefore, working with Uganda to ensure peace and security, good governance, access to social services, economic growth, and humanitarian assistance in northern Uganda. 

USAID/Uganda has provided over $100 million in funding for activities designed to support reconstruction and development in northern Uganda since 2006.  USAID’s activities are carried out in support of and in coordination with the Government of Uganda’s Peace, Development and Recovery Plan (PRDP) for northern Uganda.  USAID is the only bi-lateral donor with a presence in northern Uganda.  USAID’s office in Gulu is staffed by technical and administrative staff with responsibility for monitoring USAID’s programming in the field and providing guidance to USAID and Embassy officials regarding the progress of the recovery effort in the north. 

Basic Function - Objective

The Northern Uganda Advisor is the field office director for USAID in northern Uganda and as such supervises the daily activities of the field office located in Gulu.  The contractor serves as a senior advisor to USAID/Uganda and US Embassy/Uganda on policy and program issues regarding northern Uganda.  S/he will represent the U.S. Government  in northern Uganda; liaise with appropriate GOU, UN and international/local NGO offices and personnel, monitor and report on USAID activities; supervise Gulu office staff; and provide a conduit for relevant institutions to the appropriate personnel at the USAID Mission in Kampala and others as deemed necessary by the Mission.  

Duties and Responsibilities

The position involves providing expert analytical and advisory support for the planning, development and execution of USAID policy and programs within a broad and complex geographic and functional specialty area.  This requires applying a rigorous analytical approach to data that is maybe unsubstantiated or contradictory.  The work is complicated by the need to provide expert advice and guidance to the decisions and actions of senior policy officials, and to quickly, accurately and decisively determine the significance of information to the policy interests of the USG.  As part of this effort, the advisor must be able to rapidly identify and anticipate problem issues, help formulate strategic and programming priorities, and write under tight deadlines to produce widely disseminated analytical products that represent official assessments of complex issues as well as keep the policy-making and foreign affairs communities continuously informed of new issues and developments.  The work requires extremely strong writing and verbal skills. 

Collaboration with other offices, bureaus and agencies within and outside of the USG is also critical to this position.  Contacts will be with the Department of State, Department of Defense, USAID and OFDA direct employees at all levels; GOU Officials, United Nations (UN) staff; representatives of other donor governments, and officials of non-governmental organizations.  Contacts occur in a wide variety of planned and unplanned, formal and informal settings in Gulu, other districts in the North and in Kampala. The Advisor will participate in open meetings and conferences where she may be called upon to explain and defend USAID activities/approaches with regard to northern Uganda.

The contractor will monitor USAID (including OTI, Food for Peace and OFDA) activities with an emphasis on ensuring the success of USAID’s reconstruction and development activities in the north.  In order to ensure this success it is essential that the Northern Uganda Advisor coordinates across Mission programs as well as with other donor activities, supervises and/or undertake field assessments of USAID programs and monitor the effectiveness and appropriateness of relief, transition and development activities carried out by the GOU, UN agencies, NGOs, and other donor countries. In addition, the Northern Uganda Advisor will make recommendations for areas of focus for U.S. Government relief, transition and development efforts.

Specific duties and responsibilities are as follows:

  1. Serve as the USAID liaison to northern Uganda field offices of UN Agencies, international and local NGOs.       
  2. Serve as USAID liaison to northern Uganda central and district government offices.  This includes, the Chairperson, Local Council Five (LC5), Resident District Commissioner (RDC), District Disaster Management Committee (DDMC), District Agricultural Officer (DAO), District Department of Health Services (DDHS), and other district offices for example, the District Education Officer (DEO), District Engineer (DE) for OFDA water and sanitation projects when appropriate.
  3. Serve as a conduit for UN, international and local NGOs and GOU officials to the appropriate USAID officials in Kampala, Nairobi, and Washington as deemed necessary.
  4. Represent USAID by communicating the USG policies and objectives in reconstruction and development activities to UN field offices, GOU Officials, NGOs, and the Ugandan citizens and recipients of the USG foreign assistance.    
  5. Participate in the development, dissemination and implementation of the USG strategy and plans for northern Uganda with a view towards appropriate transitional linkages between relief and development activities.
  6. Travel throughout the northern districts to monitor the effectiveness and progress of USG funded programs and to ensure consistency with USAID objectives, and obtain real time information on the ground situation.  
  7. Represent USAID (and on occasion the USG) in appropriate GOU district sector, sub-sector and working group meetings, as well as bi-weekly NGO contact group meetings, and other meetings of USAID interest.   
  8. Provide guidance to NGOs and UN Agencies that are developing proposals for USG financing to ensure that any submissions reflect the goals and objectives of USAID.
  9. Assist in the planning, logistics and support for USG and other key TDY visits to northern Uganda.
  10. Manage and supervise a staff and office including two (2) USPSC and eight (8) FSNs.  The USPSCs include one (1) Office of Transition Initiatives (OTI) Deputy Country Representative who receives technical direction and supervision from the OTI Country Representative and a PSC managing the labor intensive infrastructure program to be initiated by USAID called Northern Uganda Development of Enhanced Local Governance, Infrastructure, and Livelihoods (NUDEIL). The FSNs include but not limited to one (1) FSN Administrative Assistant/Office Manager, one Northern Uganda Engineer, three (3) FSN drivers, and three (3) FSN Program Management Specialists for 1) Peace Building and Conflict Mitigation, 2) Agriculture and Economic Growth, and 3) Health, HIV/AIDS and Education. Supervision includes oversight of all office activities, preparation of personnel performance evaluations, and maintenance of financial controls. The Program Management Specialists will receive programmatic and technical direction and guidance from their appropriate backstop officers in Kampala.  
  11. Issue a weekly report to the Deputy Mission Deputy Director or her designee for use by the Mission and submission to Washington.  The report should summarize relevant meetings, site visits, and provide field analysis and insights into key areas of USAID concern.  These key areas are currently envisaged to be: Problems or issues in all USAID funded programs noted during monitoring visits of the Advisor or the USAID Gulu staff. Changes in the conflict and security situation. The identification of gaps and issues in relief and development activities carried out by USAID and other donors.  The GOU (including district governments’) ability and limitations in responding to the needs of the conflict affected and displaced population. The political climate of northern Uganda and the interplay between the national government, the district governments, and when appropriate the cultural/traditional leaders, the religious leaders, and other civil society.

Supervisory Relationship:

The Northern Uganda Advisor will report directly to USAID/Uganda Deputy Mission Director or designee.

The contractor shall supervise all staff assigned to the field office anticipated to comprise of two (2) USPSCs and eight (8) FSN positions.

The contractor shall coordinate on a regular basis with the USAID strategic objective team leaders in Kampala as well as USAID Washington based staff of OFDA and Food for Peace, 

Position Training:

The contractor will receive on-the-job training regarding USAID and USG policies, procedures and regulations, including the Automated Directives Systems (ADS) and Mission Orders. The contractor shall annually complete OGE 450, Financial Disclosure Report.  The contractor shall attend mandatory annual Ethics training conducted at USAID/Uganda by the Regional Legal Advisor.  The Contractor shall also be required to attend and successfully complete the mandatory Cognizant Technical Officer (CTO) and USAID Acquisition and Assistance.  Other project management and implementation training will be provided when available and as needed.  Contractor shall not make any unauthorized commitments for the USG. 

Logistics:

The Advisor will have access to USAID vehicles, office space, and office materials and equipment during this assignment.  Housing will also be provided.  Only adult family member may accompany the advisor to post.  Due to limited access to schools and certain facilities in Gulu, no minor children can be authorized at this time.

Basic Requirements and Selection Factors

(Determines basic eligibility for the position.  Candidates who do not meet all of the basic qualifications and selective factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)

Bachelor’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field including, but not limited to international relations, international law, economics, anthropology or a related field, and nine (9) years of professional experience working within a USG foreign affairs agency, PVO/NGO and/or international organization in humanitarian assistance and/or immediate post-conflict development environments with a focus on displaced persons, which must include five (5) years of on-the-ground field experience. or

Advanced degree with significant study in a pertinent to the specialized field including, but not limited to: international relations, international law, economics, anthropology or a related field, and seven (7) years of professional experience working within a USG foreign affairs agency, POV/NGO and/or international organization in humanitarian assistance and/or immediate post-conflict development environments with a focus on displaced persons, which must include four (4) years of on-the-ground field experience and

  • U.S. Citizenship;
  • Complete and hand-signed federal form OF-612;
  • Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs);
  • Ability to obtain a Secret level security clearance;
  • Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance; and
  • Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.

Quality Ranking Factors: (Used with interview performance and reference check results to determine the ranking of qualified candidates in comparison to other applicants.  The factors are listed in order of importance from highest to least.)

QRF #1 Describe your professional experience providing analytical and advisory support for the planning, development, and execution of policy, strategies, and programs in the area of humanitarian assistance, relief to development transitions, post conflict recovery, reconciliation, and/or complex political environment.

QRF #2 Describe your direct experience working in conjunction with U.S. Government (USG) agencies (i.e., USAID, Department of State, Department of Defense), donors (i.e., UN, donor governments), private sector, host governments and non-governmental partners to exchange information, and develop and implement recovery, transition and/or stability programs.

QRF #3 Describe your oral and written communication skills articulating USG policies and practices through activities such as participation in international conferences, speaking engagements in international settings, and briefing high-level delegations.

QRF #4 Describe your wrk experience serving as an expert point of contact for humanitarian, transition or development issues; such experience should include direct examples of instances in which you provided leadership for the development of recommendations and policies on issues and matters relating to post conflict recovery (i.e. displacement, return, reintegration, protections, reconciliation, rehabilitation, economic growth, basic service delivery).

Basis of Rating

Applicants who meet the Basic Requirements and Selective Factors will be further evaluated based on scoring of the Quality Ranking Factor (QRF) responses.  Those applicants determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.

Applicants are required to address each of the QRFs on a separate sheet describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, education and/or awards they have received that are relevant to each factor.  Be sure to include your name, social security number and the announcement number at the top of each additional page.  Failure to address the selective and/or quality ranking factors may result in your not receiving credit for all of your pertinent experience, education, training and/or awards.

The Applicant Rating System is as Follows:

  • QRFs have been assigned the following points:
  • QRF #1 – 20 points
  • QRF #2 – 20 points
  • QRF #3 – 15 points
  • QRF #1 – 10 points
  • Interview Performance – 20 points
  • Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – 15 points

Total Possible Points: 100

Notice to Applicants

The most qualified candidates may be interviewed.  Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for applicants being considered for selection.  USAID reserves the right to obtain from previous employers relevant information concerning the applicant’s past performance and may consider such information in its evaluation. USAID/Uganda shall not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews. 

Terms of Appointment and Compensation:

Subject to the availability of funds, this will be a one-year contract, with an optional one year extension, depending upon continuing need of the services, availability of funds and satisfactory or better performance, pursuant to FAR 52.217-9.  The intended start date is on or about November 1, 2009.

The position has been classified at a U. S. Government GS-14 level.  The actual salary of the successful candidate will be negotiated within that range depending on qualifications and previous earning history.

In addition to the basic salary, the Mission has a 25% Post Differential allowance.

Benefits and Allowances:

Benefits and allowances will be paid in accordance with the policies and procedures set out in USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR) Appendix D.  These are summarized below. 

As a matter of policy and as appropriate, an offshore USPSC is normally authorized benefits and allowances in accordance with the AIDAR Appendix D found at: http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar/pdf:(PDF 609 KB)

Benefits:

  1. Employee’s F.I.C.A & MEDICARE contributions
  2. Contribution toward Health & Life Insurance
  3. Shipment and Storage of Household Effects
  4. Shipment of POV (Privately Owned Vehicle)
  5. Pay Comparability Adjustment
  6. Annual Step Increase except if at the top step of the grade
  7. Eligibility for Worker's Compensation
  8. Annual & Sick Leave

Allowances (if applicable)*

  1. Temporary Lodging Allowance (Section 120)
  2. Living Quarters Allowance (Section 130)
  3. Post Allowance (Section 220)
  4. Supplemental Post Allowance (Section 230)
  5. Separate Maintenance Allowance (Section 260)
  6. Education Allowance (Section 270)
  7. Education Travel (Section 280)
  8. Post Differential (Chapter 500)
  9. Payments during Evacuation/Authorized Departure (Section 600)
  10. Danger Pay (Section 650)

Note: *Standardized Regulations (Government Civilian Foreign Areas)

Federal Taxes:  USPSCs and green card holders are not exempt from payment of Federal Income taxes under the foreign earned income exclusion.

All qualified applicants will be considered regardless of age, race, colo, sex, creed, national origin, lawful political affiliation, non-disqualifying handicap, marital status, sexual orientation, affiliation with an employee organization, or other non-merit factorR.

Various Contract Information Bulletins (CIBs) and Acquisition and Assistance Policy Directives (AAPDs) pertaining to PSCs are available at: http://www.usaid.gov/procuremetn_bus_opp/procurement/subject.html#psc

CIBs and AAPDs contain changes to USAID policy and General Provisions in USAID regulations and contracts.  Please refer to the website to determine which CIBs and AAPDs apply to this contract.  Additional, AIDAR Appendixes D also applies to PSCs, which can be found at: http://www.usaid.gov/policy/ads/300/aidar.pdf (PDF 609 KB)

Security and Medical Clearances:

The successful candidate will not be able to travel nor commence work until:

  • A secret security clearance is obtained from AID/Security in Washington DC prior to travel to post of duty.
  • A medical clearance is obtainable from the Department of State Medical Services. 

Note: If a temporary secret security clearance and State Department Medical Clearance are not obtained within 4 months, the offer may be rescinded.

List of Required Forms for a Secret Security Clearance:

  1.  Optional Form 612
  2. Contractor Physical Examination (DS Form 1843)
  3. Questionnaire for Sensitive Positions (for National Security (SF-86) or
  4. Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)
  5. Finger print Card (FD-258) (available from requirements office)
  6. AID 610-14 (Authority for Release of Information)
  7. AID 6-85 (Foreign Residence Data)
  8. Fair Credit Reporting Act of 1970, As Amended
  9. Notice Required by the Privacy Act of 1974

Note: ** The forms listed B thru I shall only be completed upon the advice of the Contracting Officer that an applicant is the successful candidate for the job.

Instructions to Applicants

Interested individuals can find additional information on the USAID/Uganda website at the following URL: http://www.usaid.or.ug

How to Apply

Qualified individuals MUST submit:

  1. U.S. Government Optional Form 612 available websites Shortcut to: http://www.usaid.gov/forms/of-612.doc
  2. Supplemental document addressing the four (4) QRFs
  3. Most current a curriculum vitae/resume and 
  4. Three (3) to five (5) references

Applications will be submitted by handcarry, fax, email, DHL or FEDEX air courier by the closing date to:

(via pouch mail)

Executive Officer
USAID/Uganda
Department of State
2190 Kampala Place
Washington DC 20189-2190 (allow 2 to 3 weeks for delivery)

(via handcarry/international courier)

Executive Officer
USAID/Uganda
US Embassy Compound – South Wing
Plot 1577 Ggaba Road
P. O. Box 7856, Kampala, Uganda

For those who wish to send their application via pouch, please also send your application & CV by Email attachment to (gnakaddu@usaid.gov) or (gmuntu@usaid.gov) or FAX 256-414-306-661 to ensure receipt of your application before the closing date.

Closing Date:

Applications must be in the USAID/Uganda Executive Office no later than 4:45 p.m. Ugandan time Monday, August 24, 2009.

Note Regarding Government Obligations for this Solicitation

This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the application.

Filling this position is contingent upon availability of funding and completion of final internal administrative approvals.