Department Of Agriculture - New York, NY

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The mission of the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) is to increase food security and reduce hunger in partnership with cooperating organizations by providing children and low-income people with access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education in a manner that supports American agriculture and inspires public confidence.

This position is located in the Office of Associate Administration Operations and Support, Retailer Operations Division, Retailer Investigations Branch, Trenton Area Office. FNS provides excellent opportunities for specialized training through its own facilities and outside resources. Career guidance and on-the-job and off-the-job training programs are tailored to an individual employee's needs. If you want to apply your knowledge and skills to food program activities that seek to strengthen America, there is a challenging and rewarding career waiting for you with FNS!

Key Information:
  • FNS offers alternative and flexible work schedules.
  • Click "Print Preview" to review the entire announcement before applying.
DUTIES: The following are the duties of this position at the GS-11 level. If you are selected at a lower grade level, you will have the opportunity to learn to perform all these duties, and will receive training to help you grow in this position. As an Investigator, you will:
  • Research, select, plan and independently conduct investigations relating to alleged, fraudulent violations of SNAP rules, committed either by authorized retailers and/or store personnel.
  • Use a wide range of investigative techniques including but not limited to developing confidential informants, interviewing individuals involved to obtain statements for testimony, arranging undercover transportation, using undercover video surveillance, and obtaining physical evidence in order to sustain a case against fraudulent SNAP benefits abusers.
  • Evaluate all alternatives to develop the proper investigative approach, by examining files, records and data of the firm's program participation and redemption history; complaints and rumors; observed fraudulent violations, and/or past investigation records to detect clues or links in a chain of evidence or information which are most likely to result in successful investigations.
  • Generate own cases for investigation to supplement those assigned, considering cost/benefit of productivity and resources needed. Schedule and conduct investigations under supervision to ensure the most efficient use of time and costs without impeding their successful completion.
  • Prepare accurate, detailed, and complete reports on investigations conducted.
  • Provide documentation of information obtained on fraudulent violations committed by firms, including benefits used, evidence obtained, and proper disposal of evidence when no longer required.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: In order for your application to be considered, you must meet the following requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

Selective Factor - You must be able to meet the following requirements:
This position requires extensive travel (includes considerable overnight travel within a multi-state area, nationwide travel on a less frequent basis), and driving long distances.

This position is physically vigorous, thus enabling candidate to work long hours under adverse conditions. Duties of the position require moderate to arduous physical exertion involving walking and standing, lifting and carrying moderately heavy loads, driving a vehicle for long periods of time, and exposure to inclement weather and adverse environmental conditions.

You must possess and maintain a valid State driver's license to operate a motor vehicle, and be able to drive long distances. Minimum Qualification Requirement:

Specialized Experience:
For GS-11 level: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-09 grade level in the Federal service. Experience for this position includes independently performing the full range of investigative functions on assigned cases or portions of cases from planning and conducting fact-finding to reporting the results of investigations; participating in undercover investigations; conducting investigative interviews; analyzing investigative facts to arrive at sound conclusions, etc.

For GS-09 level: You must have one year of experience at a level of difficulty and responsibility equivalent to the GS-07 grade level in the Federal service. Experience for this position includes working with senior Investigators performing segments of investigations; participating in undercover investigations; interviewing employees to verify facts and obtain specific pieces of information; securing signed statements, affidavits and documentary evidence to be included in reports or case records.

You may substitute education for specialized experience as follows:

For the GS-11 level: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or three full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree or LLM.

For the GS-09 level: Masters or equivalent graduate degree; OR Two full years of progressively higher-level graduate education leading to such a degree; OR LLB or JD.

Notes: The experience may have been gained in either the public or private sector. One year of experience refers to full-time work; part-time work is considered on a prorated basis. The education generally must be from an accredited (or pre-accredited) college or university recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Foreign education must be evaluated by a credentialing agency. You may qualify by a combination of experience and education. Options for qualifying based on a combination will be identified in the online questions.


HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Your application includes your:
  • Resume,
  • Responses to the online questions, and
  • Required supporting documents.
  • We use a multi-step process to evaluate and refer applicants:
    1. Minimum Requirements : Your application must show that you meet all requirements, including the education and/or experience required for this position. You will be found "not qualified" if you do not possess the minimum competencies required for the position. If your application is incomplete, we will rate you as ineligible.

    2. Rating : Your application will be evaluated in the following areas:
    • Technical Ability
    • Communication Skills
    • Analytical Ability
    • General
    We may lower your rating if your responses to the online questions are not supported by the education and/or experience described in your application. Category Rating will be used to rank and select eligible candidates. If qualified, you will be assigned to one of three categories, Best Qualified, Well-Qualified or Qualified depending on your experience and education related to this position. Veterans' preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Preference-eligibles will be listed at the top of their assigned category and considered before non-preference-eligibles in that category. Qualified preference-eligibles with a compensable service-connected disability of 10% or more will be listed at the top of the highest category.
    3. Referral :
    If you are among the top qualified candidates, your application may be referred to a selecting official for consideration and possible interview. If you are a displaced or surplus Federal employee (eligible for the Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP)/Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP)), you must be assigned to the Well Qualified category or higher to be determined as well qualified to receive special selection priority.

    We recommend that you preview the online questions for this announcement before you start the application process.

    To preview questions please click here .

    BENEFITS: Our comprehensive benefits are some of the most generous. Explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees at:

    • We may select from this announcement or any other source to fill one or more vacancies.
    • Relocation expenses are not authorized.
    • This is a bargaining-designated position.
    • If you are retired from the Federal Government and are selected for this vacancy, your retirement annuity may be offset from your pay.
    • If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
    • Creditable Service for Annual Leave Accrual: Newly-appointed employees or employees reappointed after a break in service may be eligible to receive credit toward annual leave accrual based on prior work experience. FNS may grant service credit for prior non-Federal work experience or active duty uniformed service that is directly related to the position being filled. Creditable service must be determined prior to the effective date of the employee's entry on duty. For more information, contact the Human Resources Specialist listed under "Contact Information."
    • To file a complaint of discrimination, within 45 days of notification, write USDA, EEO Counselor, FNS, Office of Civil Rights, 12th floor, Alexandria, VA 22302-1500, or call (703) 305-2195. USDA is an equal opportunity employer.
    • FNS has contracted with the Treasury's Bureau of the Public Debt (BPD) to provide certain Human Resource services to its organization. BPD's responsibilities include advertising FNS' vacancies, accepting and handling applications, and extending job offers.
    CONDITIONS OF EMPLOYMENT: If selected for this position, you will be required to:
    • Complete a one-year probationary period (unless already completed).
    • Complete a Declaration for Federal Employment to determine your suitability for Federal employment.
    • If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
    • Have your salary sent to a financial institution of your choice by Direct Deposit/Electronic Funds Transfer.
    • Go through a Personal Identity Verification (PIV) process that requires two forms of identification from the Form I-9 . Federal law requires verification of the identity and employment eligibility of all new hires in the U.S.
    • Extensive travel is required (includes considerable overnight travel within a multi-state area, nationwide travel on a less frequent basis).
    • Obtain and use a Government-issued charge card for business-related travel.
    • Possess a valid state motor vehicle operator's license upon appointment and maintain a valid license while you occupy the position.
    • File a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report within 30 days of appointment and annually from then on.
    • Successfully complete a background investigation.

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