Organizational Ombudsman, GS-0301-14/15
Department Of The Interior - Arlington, VA

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The Department of the Interior is devoted to protecting and preserving the natural resources of this great nation, including National Parks, Landmarks, and the well-being of communities, including those of Native American, Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians, and affiliated Islanders.

This position is located in the Office of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) in Arlington, VA, under the Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget. The CADR office leads the Department of the Interior’s effort to build conflict management competency and integrate the appropriate use of public participation, collaborative problem-solving and conflict resolution processes in all areas of the Department’s work to improve effectiveness, efficiency, and achieve mission oriented results.

The incumbent of this position serves as an Organizational Ombudsman and reports to the Director of the CADR office for broad policy direction. The Ombudsman works with CADR staff to support the full range of conflict management and dispute resolution services and to identify opportunities and strategies to expand access to ombudsman services and improve the design and/or operation of the Department’s integrated conflict management system and further CADR’s mission.

This is a term appointment for which all qualified applicants with or without Federal status may apply and be considered. Appointments to this position, however, will not convey permanent status in the Federal service and will be for a period not-to-exceed 2 years, with possible extensions up to a total of 4 years without further competition.

GS-15 is the full performance level

Salary Range Information:

GS-14: $105,211 - $136,771

GS-15: $123,758 - $155,500

Office of the Secretary has determined that the duties of this position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.
    KEY REQUIREMENTS
  • You must be a U.S. Citizen.
  • You will be subject to a background/suitability investigation/determination
  • You must submit ALL required documents and a completed questionnaire.
  • Relocation expenses will not be authorized.
  • Travel of 6-10 nights per month may be required.
  • You will be required to have federal payments made by Direct Deposit.

DUTIES: The major duties at the full performance level of this position include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Serve as an independent and impartial ombudsman, who listens to concerns in confidence, is a source of information and education, offers options for conflict resolution, and adheres to the professional ethical principles of organizational ombudsman.
  • Serve as a subject matter expert providing advice on the design and implementation of an integrated conflict management system and the role and function of an organizational ombudsman in that system.
  • Facilitate discussions between key management officials within bureaus and organizational units, union officials and other stakeholders, on the integrated conflict management system model.
  • Handle incoming requests for impartial assistance from managers and employees providing a safe place for confidential discussions about sensitive situations.
    Convene mediation processes when appropriate, and agreed upon by the parties seeking assistance.
  • Develop and deliver training, and mentor other trainers, on communication and conflict resolution skills and compile and report on evaluation results. Provide education on the role and function of organizational ombudsman and mentor others on using the services of an ombudsman in an organizational unit.
  • Serve as a coach, facilitator or mediator, on request, as appropriate with the approval of all parties participating in the process and adheres to the relevant ethical standards of conduct for coaches, facilitators and mediators.

QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED: Selective Placement Factor

Certification as an organizational ombudsman by the International Ombudsman Association or other professional ombudsman association is required.

Specialized Experience

GS-14

To qualify for this position you must have one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level (GS-13). Specialized Experience is that which equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized Experience is defined as: (1) providing conflict management and resolution services including mediation, group facilitation and training to improve communication, and collaborative problem solving; (2) working with Native Americans on issues which impact Native American Tribes; and (3) significantly contributing to the design and operation of an integrated conflict management system within an organization.

GS-15

To qualify for this position you must have one full year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade level (GS-14). Specialized Experience is that which equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Specialized Experience is defined as: (1) providing conflict management and resolution services including mediation, group facilitation and training to improve communication, and collaborative problem solving; (2) working with Native Americans on issues which impact Native American Tribes; (3) leading the design, implementation, and operation of an integrated conflict management system within an organization; and (4) evaluating the effectiveness of a conflict management and resolution program or services.

Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualification Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions and is available at OPM’s website: https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/standards/indexes/num-ndx.asp

Education: If this position requires specific educational course work to qualify, or you are qualifying based in whole or part on education, you are required to provide transcripts as proof of meeting the requirements. Failure to provide the documents will result in you receiving an ineligible rating.

Foreign Education: Education completed in colleges or universities outside the United States may be used to meet the specific educational requirements as stated above. You must provide acceptable documentation that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. For more information on how foreign education is evaluated, visit: https://www.opm.gov/qualifications/policy/ApplicationOfStds-04.asp .

There is no educational requirement for this position, however, a 4 year degree in a discipline related to conflict management and resolution is desired.

Selective Service: If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, you must certify that you have registered with the Selective Service system, or are exempt from having to do so under the Selective Service Law. http://www.sss.gov .

Veterans Preference: If you are entitled to veteran's preference, indicate the type of preference you are claiming on your resume, and in the occupational Online Questionnaire Your veteran's preference entitlement will be verified by the employing agency.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED: Your resume and responses to the self-assessment questions are an integral part of the process for determining your qualifications for this position. Therefore, it is important that your resume supports your responses to the assessment questions.

There are several parts of the application process that affect the overall evaluation of your application:

1. Your resume which is part of your USAJOBS profile
2. Your responses to the online questionnaire
3. Your required and supporting documents, as outlined in the announcement

Category Rating will be used in the ranking and selection process for this position. The categories are Best Qualified, Well Qualified, and Qualified. Veterans’ preference rules for category rating will be applied.

Once the application process is complete, we will review your application to ensure you meet the job requirements. To determine if you are qualified for this job, a review of your resume, supporting documentation, and responses to the ( View Assessment Questions ) will be made. The numeric rating you receive is based on your responses to the questionnaire. The score is a measure of the degree to which your background matches the knowledge, skills and abilities required for this position. Your resume must clearly support your self-elected responses to the occupational questionnaire/assessment associated with this vacancy announcement. In the event your self-elected responses to the occupational questionnaire/assessment cannot be verified within the contents of your resume, your rating will be adjusted accordingly, and may subsequently place you in a lower quality category. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating.

As part of the application process, you are required to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Knowledge of and skill in conflict resolution and mediation techniques and practices in order to facilitate collaborative problem solving and resolve contentious workplace disputes.
  • Leadership skills in order to effectively administer an integrated conflict management and resolution program.
  • Oral and Written communication skills in order to effectively commute with managers and employees at all levels of the organization and facilitate communication among individuals from diverse backgrounds, as well as provide training to others.

BENEFITS: To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.usajobs.gov/ResourceCenter/Index/Interactive/Benefits#icc .

OTHER INFORMATION: Important Note : All Department of the Interior (DOI) employees are subject to the conflict of interest restrictions imposed upon all employees of the Executive Branch of the Federal Government and may be required to file a Financial Disclosure Report. In addition, DOI employees, GS-15 and above, who work in the Office of the Secretary; along with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees (at ALL grade levels), are further restricted concerning their interests in Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in energy corporations which lease Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). If you have any such investments you should contact the DOI, BOEM or BSEE Ethics Office before accepting employment. DOI employees are held to the highest level of integrity. Employees must be objective and impartial in the performance of their work. All potential issues (e.g.: work-related interactions with friends, family members, or previous employers) must be disclosed at the time of application or during the interview process.

If you are a status applicant (current permanent Federal employee or former permanent Federal employee with reinstatement eligibility), or are eligible under a special appointing authority and you are selected under this vacancy, you may be subject to serving a new one-year probationary period.

Beginning January 1, 2010, agencies must seek prior approval from OPM before they can appoint a current or recent political appointee to a competitive or non-political excepted service position at any level under the provisions of title 5, United States Code. If you are currently, or have been within the last 5 years, a political Schedule A, Schedule C, or Non-career SES employee in the executive branch, you MUST disclose that to the Human Resources Officer.

If you are claiming CTAP/ICTAP eligibility, you must submit proof by the closing date of the announcement that you meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP or you will not receive priority consideration. The proof includes a copy of the agency notice, your most recent Performance Rating, and your most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty station. To be considered well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, you must earn a minimum score of 85 or above (prior to the assignment of veteran's preference) on the rating criteria for this position.

Recruitment methods and selection procedures will be based solely on merit after fair and open competitive, and will be made without regard to political, religious, or labor organization affiliation or non-affiliation, marital status, race, color, sex, national origin, non-disqualifying disability, sexual orientation, or age.

A preliminary background check must be completed before a new employee can begin work with the U.S. Department of the Interior. The preliminary background check consists of a search of Office of Personnel Management and Department of Defense background investigation files and an FBI National Criminal History Fingerprint Check; it may take up to 3 weeks to complete. If selected for this position, you will be extended a tentative offer of employment pending a satisfactory background check. Current Federal employees or individuals with an existing completed background investigation may not be required to undergo another background check; these will be handled on a case-by-case basis in coordination with the Bureau security office.

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