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Job opening: Contract Specialist (Direct-Hire Authority)

Salary: $112 015 - 145 617 per year
Published at: Aug 09 2023
Employment Type: Full-time
NEH is an independent grant-making agency of the government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.


This position is located within the Office of Acquisition (AQ), National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). AQ provides the full range of procurement, purchasing, and contracting services to the NEH. The incumbent serves as Contract Specialist responsible for analyzing, evaluating, and monitoring procurement and contracting activities; drafting and revising acquisition procedures and guidance for review; and supporting the various agency internal control programs. Provides expert-level advice to NEH staff on matters pertaining to purchasing and procurement procedures and technical guidance to NEH staff on preparing a proper package for the full range of commercial and simplified acquisitions. Provides assistance regarding specific situations or problems. Requirements are typically standard, commercial supplies and services, such as those needed to support a quarterly Council meeting or software needed by the Office of Information Resource Management (OIRM). Conducts market research and analysis, both independently and with NEH staff, to determine the most favorable acquisition strategy. Conducts research to ensure proposed pricing for supplies and services are fair and reasonable. Reviews contractual documents, including vendor quotes and proposals, for conformance to the Government's requirements. Identifies discrepancies and inconsistencies within the documents reviewed and independently addresses the issues through collaboration with NEH staff and vendors, or refers the issue to the Contracting Officer for clarification and plan of action. Gathers data and performs extensive research in support of the presumptive awardee's determination of responsibility, including conducting queries of the System for Award Management (SAM), the NASA SEWP Vendor Performance page, the Contractor Performance Assessment Report System (CPARS), and by engaging Contracting Officers and Contracting Officer Representatives (CORs) at other agencies. Takes appropriate actions in anticipation of a GPC purchase or contract award, to include creating purchase orders in NEH's Oracle web-based accounting system and entering award data in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS). Coordinates with vendors to ensure accuracy of all banking and invoicing information. Distributes the award documents and coordinates contact and interaction between contractor POC and NEH program POC. Serves as the lead integrator with NEH's Accounting Office on the accounting system. Adds lines to existing purchase orders due to a change or modification, updates vendor and banking data, assists with processing payments, and troubleshoots issues. Closes out contract actions in Oracle, FPDS, and NEH's Requisition system, and closes out grants in the applicable systems, when final payment has been made.Reviews and processes panelists' payments, verifying that all necessary documentations have been uploaded to the secure in-house Panelist system (eGMS), checks documents for completeness and signatures, and enters bank account information for panelists into Oracle in advance of final processing and approval by Accounting. If an issue arises, works independently with the panelist using problem-solving skills and techniques to resolve all issues. If necessary, depending on the issue, facilitates a resolution with Accounting by collaborating and brainstorming solutions. Additionally, works in tandem with the NEH Travel Coordinator to address issues related to hotel and plane receipts and finding a mutually agreeable solution for both NEH and the panelist. Supports NEH's data collection, management, and reporting efforts through the following: runs regular and ad hoc reports from FPDS to identify NEH spending patterns; updates SharePoint as needed to ensure the latest Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and AQ guides are available to NEH staff; provides reports to Senior Management in a timely and effective manner; creates folders that contains contract information and sensitive documentation for contractors and ensuring they are kept well-secured and organized; monitors and manages all Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority data for NEH; prepares IRS 1099 forms on a quarterly basis; and periodically performs database maintenance functions such as managing, organizing, and updating information in Access. Researches and develops purchasing and procurement issues on behalf of AQ management, develops and maintains SOPs to be consistent with prevailing acquisition statutes, regulations, and supplements. Serves as the Billing Official for the NEH Government Purchase Card (GPC) program. Performs reviews of individual transactions, the monthly billing statement, and card holders' purchase files. Uses the US Bank Travel Card and Purchase Card website to generate US Bank Travel Card and Purchase Card statements.


  • U.S. Citizen
  • Relevant experience and/or education
  • Favorable background investigation


At the GS-13 level, Qualified candidates must possess: 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the GS-12 level or equivalent experience. Specialized experience is experience which is directly related to the line of work of the position to be filled and which has equipped the applicant with the knowledge, skills, and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position, for example: providing advice on purchasing and procurement procedures; Conducting market research and analysis; Reviewing contractual documents, including vendor quotes and proposals; Adding lines to existing purchase orders due to a change; Supporting agency data collection, management, and reporting efforts; Monitoring and creating Delinquency Reports, Working independently with customers when issues arise; Researching purchasing and procurement issues; Developing standard operating procedures (SOPS), and maintaining the SOPS consistent with prevailing acquisition statutes, regulations, and supplements; and running reports from common and shared systems and websites. As part of the online application process you will need to respond to a series of questions designed to assess your possession of the following knowledge, skills, abilities, and/or competencies: Contracting/ProcurementManages and Organizes InformationOral CommunicationWritten Communication


  1. Completion of all mandatory training prescribed by the head of the agency for progression to GS-13 or higher level contracting positions, including at least 4-years experience in contracting or related positions. At least 1 year of that experience must have been specialized experience at or equivalent to work at the next lower level of the position, and must have provided the knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the work of the position.


  2. A 4-year course of study leading to a bachelor's degree, that included or was supplemented by at least 24 semester hours in any combination of the following fields: accounting, business, finance, law, contracts, purchasing, economics, industrial management, marketing, quantitative methods, or organization and management.

  3. Exceptions: Employees in GS-1102 positions will be considered to have met the standard for positions they occupy on January 1, 2000. This also applies to positions at the same grade in the same agency or other agencies if the specialized experience requirements are met. However, they will have to meet the basic requirements and specialized experience requirements in order to qualify for promotion to a higher grade, unless granted a waiver under Paragraph 4.

  4. Waiver: When filling a specific vacant position, the senior procurement executive of the selecting agency, at his or her discretion, may waive any or all of the requirements of Paragraphs 1 and 2 above if the senior procurement executive certifies that the applicant possesses significant potential for advancement to levels of greater responsibility and authority, based on demonstrated analytical and decision making capabilities, job performance, and qualifying experience. With respect to each waiver granted under this Paragraph 4, the senior procurement executive must document for the record the basis of the waiver. If an individual is placed in a position in an agency on the basis of a waiver, the agency may later reassign that individual to another position at the same grade within that agency without additional waiver action.


  • Address National Endowment for the Humanities 400 7th Street SW Washington, DC 20506 US
  • Name: NEH Human Resources
  • Phone: 2026068415
  • Email: [email protected]


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