Director, Congressional & Public Affairs Office

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    Sharon Randle

    W-CPAO-2012-0006 – This is the Merit Promotion announcement for status candidates.
    W-CPAO-2012-0007 – This is the Delegated Examining announcement for all U.S. Citizens.

    Job Title:Director, Congressional and Public Affairs Office

    Department:Department Of Agriculture

    Agency:Food Safety and Inspection Service

    SALARY RANGE: $123,758.00 to $155,500.00 / Per Year
    OPEN PERIOD: Thursday, March 01, 2012 to Thursday, March 15, 2012
    SERIES & GRADE: AP-0301-06
    POSITION INFORMATION: Full Time – Permanent
    DUTY LOCATIONS: 1 vacancy(s) in the following locations:
    Washington, DC,


    JOIN A GREAT FSIS TEAM!! The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is a public health regulatory agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). Our mission is to protect consumers by ensuring that the commercial supply of meat, poultry, catfish and processed egg products moving in interstate commerce or exported to other countries is safe and correctly labeled and packaged. We offer opportunities for future merit-based promotion, career enhancement and professional development; flexible work schedules; and transit subsidies in some locations. For more information about the agency, visit

    The incumbent serves as the Director, Congressional and Public Affairs Office (CPAO). CPAO develops and conducts public information campaigns to inform and educate a variety of audiences, including Congress, the media, industry, consumers, and employees. The incumbent works closely with the Under Secretary for Food Safety, the FSIS Administrator, and other top Agency officials to define overall FSIS goals and objectives which form the basis for the Congressional and Public Affairs Office program. CPAO is a headquarters organization that supports the FSIS Administrator, Under Secretary for Food Safety, Office of Communications, and Office of Congressional Relations. The CPA office is comprised of the Director, two deputy directors, legislative analysts, speech writers, a media spokesperson, several public affairs specialists, management analysts (web) and support personnel.

    This position is covered by the Public Health Human Resource System (PHHRS) Demonstration Project. Effective July 19, 2009, FSIS began operating under the PHHRS, a Pay Banding and Pay for Performance Demonstration Project, in which non-bargaining unit positions will be classified by career path, occupational series, and pay bands rather than the traditional General Schedule (GS) grades in the Federal Service. The AP-6S pay band is equivalent to the GS-15 grade level. PHHRS will allow FSIS the flexibility to offer exceptional candidates higher salaries than most other Federal agencies. Additionally, employees will be eligible to receive an annual pay increase based upon performance.


    •Relocation expenses will be paid IAW FSIS Directive 3820.2.
    •This announcement may be used to fill one or more vacancies.
    •You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job.
    •All Supporting documents in the “How to Apply” section must be submitted.



    The Director oversees the work of the CPAO. The incumbent:

    *ensures coordination of information and appropriate tactics to successfully convey initiatives to all stakeholders.

    *possesses understanding of how external stakeholders influence and shape perception, and makes plans accordingly.

    *serves as an FSIS contact and spokesperson on matters directly supporting the Administrator and the Under Secretary for Food Safety.

    *plans and assigns work, sets and adjusts priorities, and as appropriate, prepares schedules for completion of work.

    *gives advice, counsel, or instruction to employees on both work and administrative matters.

    *interviews and recommends candidates for positions, promotion, and reassignment, recommends awards and disciplinary action; hears and resolves complaints and recommends action on grievances.

    *identifies developmental and training needs, and provides or arranges for such training.

    *establishes and maintains close and continuous lines of communication between FSIS, Department, and other Government agencies to present information and coordinate responses to inquires on FSIS programs, operations legislative policies, initiatives, positions, and concerns.

    *organizes and participates in inter/intra departmental meetings to consider proposed positions affecting the management and development of matters of interest to FSIS.

    *provides administrative supervision and technical guidance to staff members to produce a sound and well-coordinated public communications and legislative liaison program, which achieves CPAO responsibilities and meets the overall goals and objectives of FSIS.



    There are two basic components required for this position: time-in-grade/time-in-band and specialized experience. To qualify at the AP-6S level, you must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to the AP-5 or AP-5S level (or GS-14 or equivalent in another pay system)in the Federal Service AND if you are a current Federal employee, you must have 52 weeks or more at the AP-5 or AP-5S level (GS-14 or higher in another pay system) to meet the time-in-grade/band requirement.

    Examples of specialized experience include primary responsibility for leadership and direction of public affairs activities and/or national or international legislative monitoring/liaison activities. Experience analyzing complex legislation and hearing documents as well as providing advice to management on such. Experience developing public affairs and legislative strategies on critical issues, assigning responsibility, determining operating policies, exercising general direction over work, reviewing operations to ensure attainment of program objectives, providing technical and administrative direction to staff, ensuring the effectiveness of day-to-day activities keeping key managers and executives informed of significant issues and developments, coordinating Agency/organization activities, motivating the organization to accomplish program goals, and using resources efficiently and effectively. The successful candidate will have strong leadership skills, considerable tact and diplomacy and strong oral and written communication skills along with an extensive knowledge and understanding of technical, scientific, and management theories and procedures. Your application (resume’, question responses, etc.,) should describe work experience and/or training which demonstrates that you possess OR have the potential to develop the qualities of successful supervision. Specific supervisory experience is NOT required, provided that you have the essential supervisory or managerial aptitudes. All qualification requirements must be met within 30 days after the closing date of this announcement. Additional information on the qualification requirements is outlined in the OPM Qualifications Standards Handbook of General Schedule Positions. Click here: for more information.

    Current Federal Employees must meet the Time In Grade requirement as specified in 5 CFR 300.604.

    All supporting documents in the “How to Apply” section must be submitted by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the announcement.


    Applicants are evaluated in accordance with Merit Staffing procedures which govern status candidates. All are rated on the extent and quality of experience, education, and training relevant to the duties of the position. An automated ranking system, based on the on-line application process is used. Before any certificate can be issued to the selecting official, the resume is reviewed carefully by an HR Specialist to ensure that (a) minimum qualification requirements are met and (b) the resume supports the answers provided to the job-specific questions. Please note that your resume must thoroughly support your responses to the applicant assessment questions. High self-assessment in the applicant questions that is not supported by information in your resume may eliminate you from best-qualified status and subsequent referral to the selecting official. There are several parts of the application process that affect the overall evaluation of your application: the applicant assessment questions (please note that “see resume” or a similar unspecific response as an answer to a vacancy question may disqualify you from further consideration), the core questions, supplemental documentation submitted, and your resume. This automated application system simplifies the application process by replacing the former KSA job-element questions with the on-line applicant assessment questions. Your resume is an essential part of the process for determining if you meet the basic qualifications of the position and whether you are found to be best qualified. Therefore, it is important to thoroughly explain what you did and how you did it, rather than just listing your current and former employers. NOTE: If you are changing series and/or your position involves the performance of more than one type of work, it is essential that approximate percentages of time be identified in your application for those specific duties you feel describe experience which will qualify you for this position as required by the specialized experience described in this announcement. Failure to provide approximate percentages could impact your qualifications determination for this position.



    Working for FSIS offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes, in part, paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, life insurance, health benefits, and participation in the Federal Employees Retirement System. The following Web address is provided for your reference to explore the major benefits offered to most Federal employees.


    FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES ALL EMPLOYERS TO VERIFY THE IDENTITY AND EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY OF ALL PERSONS HIRED TO WORK IN THE UNITED STATES. FSIS utilizes E-Verify to verify identity and employment eligibility by providing to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and, if necessary the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) information from each new employee’s Form I-9 to confirm work authorization. E-Verify cannot be used to pre-screen job applicants or to re-verify current employees and may not limit or influence the choice of documents presented for use on the Form I-9. If you have concern that there has been a violation of the E-Verify program or you feel you have been discriminated during the verification process based on your national origin or citizenship status, contact the Office of Special Counsel at 1-800-255-7688 (TDD: 1-800-237-2515). For more information on E-Verify you may contact DHS at 1-888-464-4218.

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

    This Agency provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the application and hiring process, please notify the agency. Decisions on granting reasonable accommodation will be on a case-by-case basis.

    Employees new to the federal government or the agency will be required to complete a ‘Declaration of Federal Employment,’ (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

    THIS IS A SUPERVISORY/MANAGERIAL POSITION REQUIRING A PROBATION PERIOD (if one has not previously been served and completed).



    Please read the instructions carefully before calling with questions. Thank you!

    You must begin the application process online at USAJobs. You will be required to submit a resume, respond to core questions, and to the online vacancy questions.

    Completed applications include:

    1. Your on-line resume. Resumes are entered into USAJOBS. Resumes can be copied and pasted into the personal information area of your application from other word processing documents at any time prior to 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

    2. Answers to all core questions (completed when registering on-line in USAJOBS and as part of the initial application process).

    3. Answers to all vacancy-specific questions (completed for each job).

    4. Via fax imaging, providing any supplemental documents needed.

    Applicants who do not respond to the on-line vacancy questions and who do not submit supporting resumes will be rated ineligible.

    VETERANS PREFERENCE: If you are applying based on eligibility for a special employment program/authority such as Severely Disabled 30% or more compensable disabled veteran, you MUST submit supporting documentation (e.g., DD-214, Certificate of Release or Discharge From Active Duty {Member 4 copy} SF 15, and a letter from the Department of Veterans Affairs stating the percentage of your disability). Copies of your DD-214 may be requested by calling 800-827-1000 or TDD# 800-829-4833 or online at click here.

    Future Military Retirees WHO ARE CURRENTLY ON TERMINAL LEAVE: You are required to submit a copy of your retirement DD-214 or a copy of your retirement letter AND a copy of your terminal leave request.

    Future Military Separatees WHO ARE CURRENTLY ON TERMINAL LEAVE: You are required to submit a copy of your most recent DD-214 and/or a copy of your most recent active duty orders AND a copy of your terminal leave request (if applicable).

    If you are eligible under the Veterans Employment Opportunities Act of 1998 (VEOA), you MUST submit documentation (DD-214) and SF-15 (Claim for Veteran’s Preference) to establish eligibility under this program. You must provide your DD-214 which indicates the nature of your discharge. For more information regarding VEOA click here.

    Supporting documentation should be sent using the fax imaging instructions after you have applied for the vacancy announcement.

    Faxing Supporting Documentation:

    The next step of the application process is to fax all the required supporting documentation specified in the “Required Documents” section of this vacancy announcement. You do not need to have all of your supporting documentation submitted in order to continue with the on-line portion of the application process. Please carefully follow the instructions below to ensure your supporting documents
    are properly faxed and received. All required documents must be received by 11:59 PM (Eastern Time) on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

    ***Not all of the document types listed will pertain to you and you may not have to submit ANY documents; only submit documents needed to complete your application package.


    Please read the instructions carefully before calling with questions. Thank you!

    1. If you have previously faxed supporting documentation the status of those documents will indicate “received”. There is no need to resubmit documents which show a status of received unless you are submitting an updated copy. (If a document is resubmitted, it replaces the previous submission, which means the previous document is no longer available to the human resources office. If you are adding to, rather than replacing, a previous submission, you must fax both the old document and the new document for them both to be accessible to HR.)

    2. You must use a separate cover sheet for each category of supporting documentation (i.e., transcripts, SF-50, DD-214). Choose the document cover sheet(s) you would like to print by selecting the appropriate check boxes in the Selected Documents column.

    3. Click the [Print Cover Sheets] button. A window will pop up containing the fax cover sheet(s) you selected. Print the coversheet(s). NOTE: You must be connected to a printer in order to print the coversheets. Additionally, you must allow pop-ups.

    4. Once you have reviewed the list of documents and printed any required fax cover sheets click on [Done]. You will be moved forward in the application process.

    5. Before faxing your document(s), take care to ensure the document is legible and all information is complete and signed, if necessary. Fax only documents which are clear and legible. Original documents with light or faded print and/or dark or patterned backgrounds will not be legible upon receipt. Illegible faxed documents cannot be used for qualification or verification purposes.

    6. Place the corresponding cover sheet on top of the document and fax the cover sheet and document together to the fax number specified on the cover sheet. NOTE: If you are faxing documents from more than one category of supporting documentation, you must submit them with the appropriate cover sheet. EACH DOCUMENT TYPE MUST BE FAXED SEPARATELY under its corresponding cover sheet. DO NOT FAX ALL DOCUMENTS TYPES UNDER ONE COVER SHEET. (i.e., transcripts are one type of document; fax all pages of your transcript and other education-related documents under the transcript cover sheet; the SF-50 is another document type, if you are faxing more than one SF-50, fax them all under the SF-50 cover sheet.)

    7. Be sure to save these cover sheets in the event you need to re-fax your supporting documents. Each fax transmission includes a unique identification number and bar code, which ensures your document, is processed correctly.

    8. You will receive an e-mail confirming the fax has been successfully received by Human Resources. You should retain your e-mail confirmation and confirmation of your fax transmittal report as proof of submission.

    Your application will be considered incomplete and YOU WILL BE FOUND INELIGIBLE if you fail to submit the required documentation as specified under the required documents section by 11:59 PM Eastern Time on the closing date of the vacancy announcement.

    Thomas Mack
    Phone: 612-659-8552
    Fax: 612-370-2377
    TDD: 800-877-8339
    Email: [email protected]
    Agency Information:
    100 North 6th Street
    Suite 420C
    Minneapolis, MN
    Fax: 612-370-2377

    Once your complete application is received we will conduct an evaluation of your qualifications and determine your ranking. The most highly qualified candidates will be referred to the hiring manager for further consideration and possible interview. We expect to make a selection within 45 days of the closing date of this announcement.


    During this process, WE WILL UPDATE YOUR status FOR EACH VACANCY ON THE USAJOBS WEB-SITE. To view your status, login to My USAJOBS (Tab on USAJOBS Web-Site). Please do not contact for status.

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