SOLICITATION NUMBER: 720FDA20B00007
ISSUANCE DATE: November 18, 2019
CLOSING DATE AND TIME: June 8, 2020, 12:00 P.M. Eastern Time
SUBJECT: Solicitation for U.S. Personal Service Contractor (USPSC)
Dear Prospective Offerors:
The United States Government (USG), represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), is seeking offers from qualified U.S. citizens to provide personal services as a Press and Public Outreach Officer under a United States Personal Services Contract (USPSC), as described in the solicitation.
Submittals must be in accordance with the attached information at the place and time specified. Offerors interested in applying for this position MUST submit the following materials:
- Complete resume. In order to fully evaluate your offer, your resume must include:
(a) Paid and non-paid experience, job title, location(s), dates held (month/year), and hours worked per week for each position. Any experience that does not include dates (month/year), locations, and hours per week will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
(b) Specific duties performed that fully detail the level and complexity of the work.
(c) Education and any other qualifications including job-related training courses, job-related skills, or job-related honors, awards or accomplishments.
(d) U.S. Citizenship
(e) Optional: How did you hear about this opportunity? (FedBizOpps, OFDA Jobs, Career Fair, etc.).
Your resume must contain sufficient information to make a valid determination that you fully meet the experience requirements as stated in this solicitation. This information must be clearly identified in your resume. Failure to provide information sufficient to determine your qualifications for the position will result in loss of full consideration.
Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) shown in the solicitation.
USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted. AID 309-2 is available at http://www.usaid.gov/forms.
NOTE REGARDING DATA UNIVERSAL NUMBERING SYSTEM (DUNS) NUMBERS
AND THE SYSTEM FOR AWARD MANAGEMENT
All USPSCs with a place of performance in the United States are required to have a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM) database prior to receiving an award. You will be disqualified if you either fail to comply with this requirement or if your name appears on the excluded parties list. The selectee will be provided with guidance regarding this registration.
NOTE: As of March 28, 2018, all new SAM.gov entity registrations will now require a signed notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity administrator for the entity associated with the DUNS number. Additional information on the format of the notarized letter and where to submit can be found via the below Federal Service Desk link:
Offerors can expect to receive a confirmation email when offer materials have been received. Offerors must retain for their records copies of all enclosures which accompany their offers. Your complete resume and the supplemental document addressing the QRFs must be emailed to:
Any questions on this solicitation may be directed to OFDA Recruitment Team via the information provided above.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Press and Public Outreach Officer will work closely with other members of the Strategic Communications Team to develop and implement strategies to increase awareness and appreciation for OFDA and partner activities. The Press and Public Outreach Officer will report to the Strategic Communications Team Leader but work closely with other teams within HPGE, including the Information Support Unit (ISU) and with the Regional Disaster Response Divisions of OFDA. Specific responsibilities include:
Emergency and Regional Response
- During OFDA disaster responses, provide communications support to OFDA staff and regional teams, generate talking points and press releases, field media requests, and engage in proactive press outreach.
- Work closely with OFDA regional teams and relevant staff to best tell OFDA’s story through the production of external messaging products, including social media, success stories, infographics, talking points, press releases, and other materials.
- Work closely with USAID’s Bureau for Legislative and Public Affairs (LPA) to pitch OFDA stories to the media, in coordination with relevant OFDA staff. Draft talking points for interviews and prepare OFDA staff or other USAID principals for media Q&A.
- Coordinate closely with LPA, USAID regional bureaus, and other USG entities to ensure that OFDA’s activities and messages are clearly communicated to the public and other key stakeholders.
- Sign-up for and serve as needed, on Washington-based RMTs, which provide services and support to DARTs deployed in response to disasters. The duties on RMTs will be varied.
- Serve as the OFDA after-hours duty officer on a rotational basis, for approximately one week every six months.
- As needed, serve on DARTs, which may require immediate (within 24 hours) deployment overseas for an extended period of time.
- As needed, may serve on temporary detail within the office or region not to exceed six months. Duties performed while on detail will be aligned with the Team’s existing duties and responsibilities as well as directly related to the scope of work provided.
- Develop and implement communications plans and campaigns that reflect changing messaging priorities and highlight OFDA’s impact, expertise, and value. Identify key outreach opportunities to advance strategic OFDA messages. Feed in appropriate OFDA messaging and content for relevant USAID agency-wide campaigns.
- Develop and implement new ways to communicate OFDA’s investments in disaster risk reduction, which save lives by preventing or reducing the damage caused by natural disasters.
- Liaise with OFDA partners to obtain strong content on how OFDA’s programs are making a difference on the ground and use materials for strategic public messaging on OFDA’s life-saving efforts.
- Provide editorial input for materials generated by the Strategic Communications Team and OFDA staff.
- Develop ways for OFDA to effectively convey or tailor messages in a clear, concise manner, avoiding jargon and technical language.
- Engage with the Strategic Communications Team to conceptualize multi-media content to tell OFDA’s story across various platforms.
- Work closely with other Communications Team members, ISU, and OFDA website development team to ensure OFDA’s web pages, social media presence, and other online content (including situation reports, alerts, and fact sheets) are up-to-date.
The USPSC will take direction from and will report to the Strategic Communications Team Leader, with guidance from the Division Director or a designee of the HPGE Division.
Supervisor sets overall objectives and resources available. The USPSC consults with supervisor to develop deadlines, projects and work to be done. The USPSC is responsible for planning and carrying out assignments. The USPSC is responsible for planning approach or methodology to be used in carrying out assignments.
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)
Bachelor's degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, communications, public outreach, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field), and seven (7) years of relevant work experience working on communications issues, with excellent verbal and written communication skills.
Master’s degree with significant study in or pertinent to the specialized field (including, but not limited to, communications, public outreach, journalism, international relations, political science, or a related field), and five (5) years of relevant work experience working on communications issues, with excellent verbal and written communication skills required.
EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The Government may award a contract without discussions with offerors in accordance with FAR 52.215-1. The CO reserves the right at any point in the evaluation process to establish a competitive range of offerors with whom negotiations will be conducted pursuant to FAR 15.306(c). In accordance with FAR 52.215-1, if the CO determines that the number of offers that would otherwise be in the competitive range exceeds the number at which an efficient competition can be conducted, the CO may limit the number of offerors in the competitive range to the greatest number that will permit an efficient competition among the most highly rated offers. FAR provisions of this solicitation are available at https://www.acquisition.gov/browse/index/far.
(Determines basic eligibility for the position. Offerors who do not meet all of the selection factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.)
- Offeror is a U.S. Citizen.
- Complete resume submitted. See cover page for resume requirements. Experience that cannot be quantified will not be counted towards meeting the solicitation requirements.
- USPSC Offeror form AID 309-2. Offerors are required to complete sections A through I. This form must be physically signed. Electronic signatures will not be accepted.
- Supplemental document specifically addressing the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) submitted.
- Ability to obtain and maintain a Secret up to Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information level clearance as provided by USAID.
- Ability to obtain a Department of State medical clearance.
- Must not appear as an excluded party in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).
- Satisfactory verification of academic credentials.
QUALITY RANKING FACTORS (QRFs)
(Used to determine the competitive ranking of qualified offerors in comparison to other offerors. The factors are listed in priority order from highest to least. The evaluation of QRF responses and writing tests will also take into consideration the quality of written responses. Aspects of written responses including, but not limited to typos, grammatical errors, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences will be factored into the evaluation process.)
QRF #1 Proven experience leading an organization through communications crises and/or breaking news events. Demonstrated experience and ability to foster relationships with relevant stakeholders and work closely with them during crisis situations to shape stories to meet an organization’s strategic objectives. Describe specific communications crises or breaking news that you worked on; describe the challenges you faced and the solutions you came up with; explain how you handled the situation, in particular by working with the media if relevant; and state the outcome.
QRF #2 Demonstrated experience producing clear, concise, and factually accurate communications products under tight deadlines, including speeches, press releases, talking points, stories, and blogs. Demonstrated experience working with a team to create a wide variety of public information products, including videos, social media content, infographics, blogs, etc. Demonstrated ability to initiate, develop, and manage communications projects. Provide specific examples for each demonstrated area.
QRF #3 Demonstrated experience and ability to identify good stories and/or successfully pitch them to key stakeholders—such as the media, assignment editors, think tanks, universities, etc. Describe the pitch, explain why you chose that particular angle, and state the outcome. Explain how you worked with these key stakeholders to get positive attention to a particular story or issue related to your organization’s activities.
QRF #4 Demonstrated experience performing communications-related tasks in a high visibility, high-pressure environment—including on site at a breaking news/sudden-onset disaster event or during fast-breaking crisis communications situations—while simultaneously managing multiple projects and maintaining an attention to detail. Provide specific examples.
QRF #5 Proven ability to provide effective communications guidance to leadership and key stakeholders. Proven experience in briefing and preparing leadership and/or coworkers for communications-related events, including media interviews, speeches, panel discussions, and other public events. Provide specific examples for each demonstrated area.
BASIS OF RATING: Offerors who meet the Education/Experience requirements and Selection Factors will be further evaluated based on scoring of the QRF responses. Those offerors determined to be competitively ranked may also be evaluated on interview performance and satisfactory professional reference checks.
Offerors are required to address each of the QRFs in a separate document describing specifically and accurately what experience, training, and/or education they have received as it pertains to each factor. Be sure to include your name and the announcement number at the top of each additional page. Failure to address the selection factors and/or Quality Ranking Factors may result in not receiving credit for all pertinent experience, education, and/or training.
The most qualified offerors may be interviewed and required to provide a writing sample. OFDA will not pay for any expenses associated with the interviews. Professional references and academic credentials will be evaluated for offerors being considered for selection. Note: Please be advised that references may be obtained independently from other sources in addition to the ones provided by an offeror. OFDA reserves the right to select additional offerors if vacancies become available during future phase of the selection process.
The Offeror Rating System is as Follows:
QRFs have been assigned the following points:
QRF #1 – 5 points
QRF #2 – 5 points
QRF #3 – 5 points
QRF #4 – 3 points
QRF #5 – 2 points
Interview Performance Round 1 – 10 points
Interview Performance Round 2 – 25 points
Timed Writing Test – 35 points
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks – 10 points
Total Possible Points: 100