Public Affairs Specialist, GS-1035-13
Department Of The Interior - Washington, DC

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The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) works to promote safety, protect the environment, and conserve resources offshore through vigorous regulatory oversight and enforcement.

This position is located in the Office of Public Affairs (OPA), Office of the Director BSEE and serves primarily as the speechwriter for the BSEE Director. As the speechwriter for the Director, the incumbent works for and receives guidance from the Chief of Public Affairs or their designee. OPA is responsible for the broad communication strategy and outreach to all customers and stakeholders by integrating external affairs and media relations. OPA manages the coordination and implementation of a comprehensive outreach program to all audiences including federal and state government organizations, the offshore oil and natural gas industry, related trade and industry associations, the environmental and conservation community, and the general public. This position is critical to implementing the bureau’s strategic external communication goals.

This is a TERM APPOINTMENT located in Washington, D.C.

This vacancy is also announced as BSEE-CW-12-MM760135 (MP) for those applicants who wish to apply and be considered under Merit Promotion procedures (i.e. current competitive service employees, have reinstatement eligibility for the competitive service, or who are eligible for special appointing authorities). You must apply and submit required documents for both announcements if you wish to receive consideration under both Merit Promotion and Delegated Examining procedures.


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.

Major Duties : ( The duties described reflect the full performance level of this position.)

The major duties of this position include, but are not limited to the following:

Serves as the primary speechwriter for the BSEE Director and other senior leaders within the bureau. Speeches may include manuscripts, slide presentations, outlines and talking points.
Assignments are complex, highly important, and diversified in scope, and may be within any area of jurisdiction of the Chief of Public Affairs.
Writes speeches, policy statements, formal reports, and other material for the BSEE Director or other senior official(s) of the Bureau outlining major and significant policies and initiatives having a national or international impact. Reviews and edits proposed speeches and political statements, and avoids inconsistencies with other speeches and policy statements. Maintains current working knowledge of nuances of the media, including print, in order to fully utilize their various capabilities and forums. Accompanies and assists the Director and senior managers at speeches assuring that follow-ups are addressed.
Participates in program planning of national public affairs projects as needed. Works with management and staff to develop information for distribution through the news media, the bureau’s public website, and BSEE-sponsored outreach publications.
Responsible for a variety of communications activities to educate and facilitate the exchange of information with the full range of BSEE customers and stakeholders. Maintains up to date, detailed knowledge of BSEE programs and policies.


To qualify for the GS-13 level, all applicants must possess at least one full year of specialized experience at or equivalent to at least the next lower grade level ( ­­­­GS-12 ).

Specialized experience is defined as: have written about complex issues and national-level policies, synthesizing technical information into understandable, audience-appropriate informational materials.

IMPORTANT: In addition to your resume, please submit a writting sample.

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:

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: .

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. .

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.

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 ( Online Questionnaire ) 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. Our review of your resume and/or supporting documentation must support your responses to the Online Questionnaire to accurately reflect your abilities.

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:

  • Written Communication Skills
o Mastery of the principles, methods, practices, and techniques of effective writing for public communication to include speeches and presentations that enable incumbent to function as a technical expert on public affairs.

To explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees, visit the Office of Personnel Management's website at .

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 (Office of the Secretary) and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) employees are further restricted concerning their holdings of Federal lands and resources administered or controlled by the Department of the Interior. This includes holding stock in corporations engaged in mining activities on Federal lands (e.g.: oil, gas, coal, alternative energy resources, etc.). Please refer to the BSEE webpage for Ethics located at: for additional information. BSEE requires the highest level of integrity. Employees must be totally 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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