Office Assisant (Farm Bill Support Assistant)
Department Of Agriculture - Union, WA

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You will be a member of the team that has the mission of "Helping People Help the Land."

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provides products and services that enable people to be good stewards of the Nation's soil, water, and related natural resources on non-Federal lands.

What does a NRCS Office Assistant (Farm Bill) do?

The incumbent is responsible for processing and maintenance of records which represents the financial and related administrative transactions primarily related to conservation programs and the business processes of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).

WHO MAY APPLY

Applications will be accepted from all qualified U.S. Citizens. You need not be a current or former Federal employee to apply; however, you must be a U.S. Citizen.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR SURPLUS OR DISPLACED FEDERAL EMPLOYEES - Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP) and Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP) is available to individuals who have special priority selection rights under this plan. Individuals must be well-qualified for this position to receive consideration for special priority selection. CTAP or ICTAP eligibles will be considered well-qualified when receiving an adjudicated score of 85 or higher. Federal employees seeking CTAP or ICTAP eligibility must submit proof of meeting the requirements of CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of your most recent performance rating, and a copy of your most recent SF-50 Notification of Personnel Action notating current position, grade level, and duty location. You are to annotate in your application that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible.

To read more about CTAP or ICTAP eligibility visit: http://www.opm.gov/rif/employee_guides/career_transition.asp

Read the entire job announcement and follow all instructions provided.

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    KEY REQUIREMENTS
  • You must be a United States Citizen.
  • Males born after 12/31/1959 must be registered with the Selective Service.
  • You must complete a FBI Background and Security Investigation.
  • You must have a valid state driver's license.
  • Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  • You must meet required exp/edu requirements. See Qualifications Section

DUTIES: Incumbent is responsible for reviewing new customer applications for Farm Bill programs to ensure all information is present and gathering any information that is not included in the application package including determining who has signature authority and if correct signatures are present according to agency policy. Incumbent enters application and contract data into agency specific software programs and prepares software generated reports. Maintains contracts, practices, scheduled dates, and financial commitment and expenditures for multiple Farm Bill programs. Uses agency specific software such as Pro Tracts, Toolkit and locally developed excel databases to extract information needed to develop reports related to scheduling, program tracking, and balancing of funds committed and expended. Understands and applies agency program rules and regulations related to the administration of applications, payments, and contracting procedures for each Farm Bill program under NRCS responsibility.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Candidates must meet the Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standard Requirements for Clerical and Administrative Support positions.

The qualifications for this position are described below and are published in the "Qualification Standards Operating Manual". See

http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/#url=Group-Standards

GS-5: One year of specialized experience equivalent to a GS-4 level in the Federal service OR 4 years of successful completion of education above the high school level. Education must have been obtained in an accredited business, secretarial or technical school, junior college, college or university. One year of full-time academic study is defined as 30 semester hours, 45 quarter hours, or the equivalent in a college or university, or at least 20 hours of classroom instruction per week for approximately 36 weeks in a business, secretarial, or technical school.

GS-6: One year of specialized experience equivalent to a GS-5 level in the Federal service.

GS-7: One year of specialized experience equivalent to a GS-6 level in the Federal service.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE:

Experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA's) to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the position to be filled. To be creditable, specialized experience must have been equivalent to at least the next lower grade level.

GS-5: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-4 grade level in the Federal service that is directly related to the work of this position. Examples of the experience which will be credited are those that provide a familiarity of farm bill conservation programs and computer skills, and demonstrate skill in working with computer databases; a basic knowledge of accounting procedures and practices to ensure payments are complete and accurate. Also demonstrates the ability to review documents for completeness and accuracy of information, maintain files and records.

GS-6: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-5 grade level in the Federal service that is directly related to the work of this position. Examples of the experience which will be credited are those that provide a working knowledge of farm bill conservation programs and computer skills, including utilization of databases related to accounting which requires manipulation of numeric data; a broad knowledge of accounting procedures and practices related to the review of contracts and payments for complete and accurate information. Also demonstrates the ability to review documents for completeness and accuracy of information, maintain files and records.

GS-7: One year of specialized experience, equivalent to at least the GS-6 grade level in the Federal service that is directly related to the work of this position. Examples of the experience which will be credited are those that understands and applies agency program rules and regulations related to the administration of applications, payments, and contracting procedures for each Farm Bill program under NRCS responsibility, extracts information from data bases needed to develop reports related to scheduling, program tracking, and balancing of funds committed and expended, utilization of databases related to accounting which requires manipulation of numeric data; an in-depth knowledge of accounting procedures and practices related to the review of contracts and payments for complete and accurate information. Also demonstrates the ability to review documents for completeness and accuracy of information, maintain files and records.

At the GS- 5 level - education in excess of the first 60 semester hours beyond the second year is creditable toward meeting the specialized experience. One full academic year of study (30 semester hours) beyond the second year is equivalent to 6 months of specialized experience.

As a general rule, education is not creditable above the GS-5 for most positions covered by this standard; however, graduate education may be creditable in those few instances where the graduate education is directly related to the work of the position.

All applicants must meet the education and/or specialized experience requirements by the closing date of this announcement.

Credit will be given for appropriate qualifying unpaid experience or volunteer work such as community, cultural, social service, and professional association activities on the same basis as paid experience. To receive proper credit for unpaid experience or volunteer work, fully describe your responsibilities and show the actual time (years, months, and hours per week) spent in such activities.

Management has the prerogative to select at any grade level for which this position has been advertised. If you are placed in this position at a grade lower than the target grade 7 ( i.e. the promotion potential grade), you may be promoted to the target grade without further competition. However, there is no commitment or obligation on the part of management to promote you. Your promotion will depend upon the continuing need for the level of work to be performed and your ability to perform the higher level duties.

A transcript must be submitted with your application if you are basing all or part of your qualifications on education.

If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.
  • Public Law 104-134 requires that all federal employees receive salary payments via direct deposit.
  • You must have the ability to use a computer
  • You must submit a complete application package to be considered for this position.
  • If selected, must complete a FBI Background and Security Investigation.
  • If selected, must serve a probationary period of one year.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Your application will be evaluated and rated under the Category Rating and Selection Procedures. Your resume must support your responses to the occupational questionnaire. We will review your resume and supporting documentation and compare this information to your responses on the occupational questionnaire to determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for this position. If you are basically qualified for this position, we will evaluate your application package, using a panel of subject-matter experts or HR Specialist to assess the quality, depth, and complexity of your accomplishments, experience, and education as they relate to the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities for the position. We will then place you in one of the following categories and only those in the Best Qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration.

Best Qualified: Applicants possess all of the job related competencies identified as important for successful job performance.

Well -Qualified: Applicants possesses a majority (i.e., more than half) of the job related competencies needed for successful job performance.

Qualified: Applicants meets the basic eligibility and minimum qualification requirements, but does not meet the definition of Well-Qualified or Best Qualified describe above.

Veterans’ preference is applied after applicants are assessed. Veterans’ preference eligibles who meet the qualification requirements are place in the appropriate category and are listed ahead of non-preference eligibles. Veteran preference eligibles that have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10 percent are listed in the highest quality category, except in the case of scientific or professional positions at the GS-9 level or higher.

BENEFITS: The Federal government offers a number of exceptional benefits to its employees. The following Web addresses are provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered to Federal employees. http://www.usajobs.gov/EI/benefits.asp

OTHER INFORMATION: Relocation expenses are NOT authorized under this announcement.

A background investigation will be required for all new appointments. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

A 12-month Probationary Period is required for all new appointments if not previously served. Your continued employment will be subject to your successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

Federal law requires that all employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of all new employees (including U.S. Citizens) within three days of hire. The NRCS uses an electronic system called E-Verify to assist in verifying newly hired employee's eligibility to work. Selected applicants will be required to provide employers with documentation establishing both identity and eligibility to work in the United States. For additional information on E-Verify, go to: http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/ Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will have to certify prior to or at the time of appointment that they have registered with the Selective Service System.

The use of government franked envelopes to mail applications is prohibited by Federal laws and regulations. Applications submitted in government franked envelopes will not be accepted. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or a part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

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Information on Special Hiring Authorities:

To determine if you are eligible for a Special Hiring Authority based on your Veteran status or if you are eligible for Veteran's Preference click on the following sites:

http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/index.aspx or http

: //www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/index.aspx

To determine if you are eligible for a Special Hiring Authority based on a physical handicap please click on the following web sites: http://www.opm.gov/disability/PeopleWithDisabilities.asp or http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/shav/index.aspx Clearly indicate on your application you are applying under a Special Hiring Authority, provide required documentation of your handicap and indicate the type of accommodation you are requesting.

A former Peace Corps or VISTA Volunteer - Applicants within 1-year of after release from the Peace Corps/Vista Service may be eligible to apply for this announcement. To do so, applicants must submit documentation such as the Peace Corps Statement of Service that contains a statement on the eligibility to apply for Federal jobs for 1 year as a "Status" applicant.

Applicants must state in their application under which of these special hiring authorities they wish to be considered. Submit proof of your eligibility with your application or you will not be considered under a Special Hiring Authority.

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