Program Assistant (Office Automation)
The Program Assistant performs a range of unique clerical and technically oriented duties in support of programs to exclude or prevent the spread of specific animal diseases through exportation or importation of live animals, animal byproducts, biological materials, and/or organisms. Provides clerical and program assistance to the Director or supervisor and is also responsible for performing support duties associated with nonstandard import/export functions. The Program Assistant will spend 65 percent of his or her time providing clerical support to and approximately 35 percent on the performance of other program support duties. Support of other activities may occasionally be assigned by the supervisor as emergent needs arise.
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The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity. The duties may include, but are not limited to:
Screens callers, furnishing information if possible or directing such callers to proper sources of information and otherwise relieves the Service Center Director or supervisor of routine office detail. Answers non-technical inquiries where policy has been established and definite information is available. Greets office visitors, furnishing information on area activities and established rules and procedures governing Veterinary Services programs, when appropriate.
Reviews all incoming correspondence to determine the need for response and need for referral to the Service Center Director or supervisor. Attaches related correspondence or reports to incoming material for use by the Director or supervisor in preparing a responses. Frequently researches and prepares response for signature of the Director or supervisor.
Stays current on all area activities by studying reports, correspondence and other information available. Devises and follows effective routines for keeping supervisor and office staff informed on all area activities. On own initiative, and from material received from various sources, prepares instructional or informational material for the supervisor or Director for issuance to field and office personnel. Provides material immediately upon request, or as needed, for reference. Maintains log of pending business and reports to assure prompt replies.
In accordance with proper guidelines, maintains reference files on program and administrative regulation, requirements, and specific instructions on disease eradication and control projects. Files all correspondence, VS Memorandums, notices, circulars, regulations, policy statements, and disposes of such records according to current disposition schedules and agency requirements.
Makes appointments for the Supervisor, Service Center Director or Acting Service Center Director and keeps them advised of their schedules. Researches and assembles informational material needed by the supervisor for participation in formal meetings and for discussions with individuals or groups.
Prepares travel schedules and makes reservations for supervisor and personnel.
Serves as backup for Veterinary Accreditation Program. Prepares certificate and approval letters and forwards appropriate material to VS officials in headquarters for signature and approval. Upon return of approved certificates, certificates are forwarded to accredited veterinarians.
Receives telephone calls related to accreditation procedures and responds to inquiries from veterinarians inquiring on how to become accredited, along with various other inquiries they may have, answering questions relating to accreditation and fee-basis agreements.
25% or less - Travel for training and work assignments may be required.
Who May Apply
This job is open to…
Permanent Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) agency employees and CTAP eligibles.
Questions? This job is open to 2 groups.
#### Job family (Series)
0303 Miscellaneous Clerk And Assistant
Conditions of Employment
US Citizenship is required
Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
Travel, transportation, and relocation expenses will not be paid. Any travel, transportation, and relocation expense associated with reporting for duty to this position will be the responsibility of the selected employee.
This position is eligible for telework within the local commuting area of the duty location of the position. Employee participation in telework is at the discretion of the supervisor.
Applicants must be qualified typists (40 WPM).
The work is sedentary in nature. No unusual physical demands are placed upon this employee
The work is performed in a typical office setting.
Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement including time-in-grade restrictions, specialized experience as defined below, etc.
TIME IN GRADE:
Federal employees must meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement.
FOR THE GS-05 LEVEL:
Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-04 grade level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience producing and filing various routine correspondence, reports, contracts, permits, etc.
Experience using word processing software and printing equipment to create, copy and edit.
Experience receiving visitors and phone calls to the office, ascertaining the nature of requests and directing callers to appropriate staff. Independently responding to routine inquiries.
Experience entering data into Excel spreadsheets and Access database, and retrieving information for reports and inquiries.
Experience reviewing correspondence prepared for the staff, including checking for spelling, typographical errors, conformance to formats, and procedural requirements.
4 years of successfully completed education above the high school level.
FOR THE GS-06 LEVEL:** Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-05 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience tracking deadlines so that priorities are met and tasks are completed in appropriate order.
Experience reviewing detailed information on applications, permit requests, or certificates for accuracy, including researching information on the internet in order to respond to inquiries.
Proficiency with Access and Excel to create and maintain databases.
Experience responding directly to inquiries from the general public regarding technical information.
(Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.)
FOR THE GS-07 LEVEL:** Applicants must have one year of specialized experience (equivalent to the GS-06 level) that may have been obtained in the private or public (local, county, state, Federal) sectors which demonstrates:
Experience with coordinating travel for others including processing payment or vouchers.
Experience reviewing detailed information on applications, permit requests, or certificates, including interpreting policies and regulation as it relates to animal health. (ex. applications that are submitted to meet regulations, animal health certificates for import/export).
Proficiency with Access and Excel to create and maintain databases.
At this level, duties are more complex and performed with independence.
(Note: There is no education substitution for this grade level.)
are required if:
You are qualifying for the position based on education.
You are qualifying for this position based on a combination of experience and education.
This education must have been successfully completed and obtained from an accredited school, college, or university.
COMBINATION OF EDUCATION & EXPERIENCE AT THE GS-5 GRADE LEVEL:
Applicants may have combinations of successfully completed education and specialized experience to meet total qualification requirements. The total percentages must equal at least 100 percent to qualify for that grade level. To learn more about combining education and experience for this series, click the following: Combining Education and Experience for Clerical and Administrative Support Positions
Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religious; spiritual; community, student, social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.
Please see above for education requirement information.
This position is subject to unscheduled overnight details of undetermined lengths in the event of animal health emergencies or other conditions requiring immediate response, as required by the Agency. (Extensive periods of time may be designated for overnight details.)
Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL), or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP): For information on how to apply as a CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP eligible see ****To exercise selection priority for this vacancy, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP candidates must meet the basic eligibility requirements and all selective factors. CTAP/ICTAP candidates must be rated and determined to be well qualified (or above) based on an evaluation of the competencies listed in the How You Will Be Evaluated section. When assessed through a score-based category rating method, CTAP/ICTAP applicants must receive a rating of at least 85 out of a possible 100.
Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should **** (voice and TDD).
Farm Service Agency (FSA) County Employees: Permanent County employees without prior Federal tenure who are selected for a Civil Service position under Public Law 105-277 will be given a career-conditional appointment and must serve a 1-year probationary period.
Direct Deposit – Per Public Law 104-134 all Federal employees are required to have federal payments made by direct deposit to a financial institution of your choosing.
E-Verify: Federal law requires agencies to use the E-Verify system to confirm the employment eligibility of all new hires. If you are selected as a newly hired employee, the documentation you present for purposes of completing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Form I-9 on your entry-on-duty date will be verified through the DHS E-VERIFY system. Under the system, the new hire is required to resolve any identified discrepancies as a condition of continued employment.
It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. See more information at: ****Read more
How You Will Be Evaluated
You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.
You will be evaluated based on your qualifications for this position as evidenced by the experience, education, and training you described in your application package, as well as the responses to the Assessment Questionnaire to determine the degree to which you possess the knowledge, skills, abilities and competencies listed below:
Ability to use office equipment, computer technology, and automated business systems
*Knowledge of correspondence, document processing, records, files, and reports including those regulated by the FOIA and Privacy Act
Ability to provide executive assistance and representation
Ability to identify priorities, changing work requirements, meet deadlines, and lead others
Knowledge of budget, fiscal, procurement, vehicle, and travel procedures and systems
Knowledge of human resource management procedures, requirements, and systems including time and attendance reporting
Ability to evaluate and improve clerical and office administration policies, procedures, and practices
Written, oral and interpersonal communication skills
Knowledge of animal import & export requirements including knowledge of required permit & certificate processes & documentation
Your application, including the online Assessment Questionnaire, will be reviewed to determine if you meet (a) minimum qualification requirements and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Your resume must clearly support your responses to all the questions addressing experience and education relevant to this position. Applicants who meet the minimum qualification requirements and are determined to be among the best qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for consideration. Noncompetitive candidates and applicants under some special hiring authorities need to meet minimum qualifications to be referred.
Note: If, after reviewing your resume and/or supporting documentation, a determination is made that you have inflated your qualifications and or experience, your rating may be lowered to more accurately reflect the submitted documentation. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating. Providing inaccurate information on Federal documents could be grounds for non-selection or disciplinary action up to including removal from the Federal service.
To view the application form, visit: ****Read more
Background checks and security clearance
The following documents are required for your application to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in mail service, your system failure or downtime, etc. Encrypted and digitally signed documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
Resume that includes the following information: 1) personal information; 2) education; 3) work experience including the work schedule and hours worked per week as well as dates of employment; and title, series and grade if applicable; 4) supervisor's phone number for each work period listed and whether or not we may contact them for reference checks; and, 5) other qualifications.
If education is required or you are using education to qualify, you must submit a copy of your college transcripts. An unofficial copy is sufficient with the application; however, if you are selected, you will be required to submit official transcripts prior to entering on duty. Education must have been successfully obtained from an accredited school, college or university. If any education was completed at a foreign institute, you must submit with your application evidence that the education was evaluated by a credential evaluation service as being equivalent to U.S. education standards. There are private organizations that specialize in this evaluation and a fee is normally associated with this service. For a list of private organizations that evaluate education, visit ****All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
Other required documents as applicable:
Current/Former Career/Career-Conditional:MUST submit a copy of an SF-50, non-award Notification of Personnel Action, which documents competitive civil service status and preferably shows your current grade/position. In order to demonstrate competitive civil service status, the position occupied block on the SF-50 should show a 1 and your tenure block should show a 1 or 2. If your current grade is not your highest permanent grade, submit a copy of an additional SF-50 showing your highest grade.
In addition, current and former Federal employees must submit their most recently completed annual performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) which identifies the official rating of record, signed by the supervisor, or a statement advising why the performance appraisal is unavailable (e.g., length of time in current position, etc.). Performance plans will not be accepted.
Veteran Hiring Authorities:
(VEOA, VRA, and 30% Disabled Veterans): DD-214 (Member 4 Copy). DD214, Certificate of Release from Active Duty, which shows dates of service and discharge under honorable conditions. If currently on active duty you must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty service under honorable conditions that is signed no later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. The certification must be on the letterhead of the appropriate military branch and include the dates of military service. Veteran’s preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veteran’s preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
If claiming 10-point veteran’s preference you must provide the DD214 or certification requirements (see above bullet), plus the proof of entitlement of this preference as listed on the SF-15 Application for 10-point Veterans’ Preference. The SF-15 should be included but is not required. Failure to submit these documents could result in the determination that there is insufficient documentation to support your claim for 10-point preference. For more information on veterans’ preference see ****Schedule A, Persons with Disabilities:
Schedule A letter from a physician, local, state or federal rehabilitation office citing eligibility under 5 CFR 213.3102 (u).
Certification of Expected Separation, Reduction-In-Force Separation Notice, Notice of Proposed Removal, or appropriate OPM/Agency certification; AND most recent performance evaluation; AND SF-50 demonstrating your separation or the position from which you will be separated.
Other Special Hiring Authority
: If claiming eligibility under a special hiring authority not listed above, see the requirements for that authority and submit the required supporting documentation. Special Hiring Authorities
*Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act: *
If eligible under the LMWFA, please see the documents required under Special Conditions.
If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:
Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.
A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.
Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.
How to Apply
How to Apply
Please read the entire announcement and all the instructions before you begin.
The following instructions outline our application process.
You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday). Applying online is highly encouraged. If applying online poses a hardship, please contact our office during business hours well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages with supporting documents must be submitted no later than noon on the closing date of the announcement in order to be entered into the system prior to its closing.
This agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis; contact us if you are requesting this.
Create a USAJOBS account (if you do not have one) at ****It is recommended that as part of your profile you set up automatic email notification to be informed when the status of your application changes. If you choose not to set up this automatic notification, then you will have to log into your USAJOBS account to check on the status of your application.
Create a resume with USAJOBS or upload a resume into your USAJOBS account. Customize your resume to ensure it documents duties and accomplishments you have gained that are directly related to this position in order to verify that qualifications are met. Your resume must support your responses to the online questionnaire (you may preview the online questionnaire by clicking on the link at the end of the How You Will Be Evaluated section of the job announcement).
Click Apply Online and follow the prompts to complete the Occupational Questionnaire and attach any additional documents that may be required.
You can update your application or documents anytime while the announcement is open. Log into your USAJOBS account and click on Application Status. Click on the position title, and then select Update Application” to continue.
NOTE: Verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBs transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Once in the Agency's staffing system you will have the opportunity to upload additional documents. Uploaded resumes must be less than 3MB and in one of the following document formats: GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, RTF, PDF, or Word (DOC or DOCX).
USDA APHIS MRPBS
250 Marquette Avenue, Suite 410
Minneapolis, MN, 55401
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If you set up your USAJOBS account to send automatic email notifications, you will receive an email acknowledging: 1) the submission of your online Occupational Questionnaire and resume was successful, 2) if you were referred to the selecting official for consideration, and 3) if you were selected or not selected. If you choose not to set up automatic email notifications, you must check your USAJOBS account for the latest status of your application. Your application may be reviewed to verify that you meet the qualifications and eligibility requirements for the position prior to issuing lists to a selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. We expect to make a final job offer within 40 days after the closing date of the announcement.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
Fair & Transparent
Fair & Transparent
The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.
Equal Employment Opportunity Policy
The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.
Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) for federal employees & job applicants
Reasonable Accommodation Policy
Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.
A reasonable accommodation is any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Learn more about disability employment and reasonable accommodations or how to contact an agency.
Legal and regulatory guidance
Social security number request
Signature and false statements
New employee probationary period
This job originated on ****For the full announcement and to apply, visit ****Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at ****will be considered.
Open & closing dates:
08/09/2018 to 08/15/2018
$33,394 to $53,773 per year
Pay scale & grade:
GS 05 - 07