SOLICITATION NUMBER: 72066019R10009
ISSUANCE DATE: September 9, 2019
CLOSING DATE/TIME: September 23, 2019 at 17:00 (Kinshasa Time)
SUBJECT: Solicitation for the FSN-9, Travel Specialist, Cooperating Country National Personal Service Contractor (CCNPSC) (Local Compensation Plan)
Dear Prospective Offerors:
The United States Government, represented by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is seeking offers from qualified persons to provide personal services under contract as described in this solicitation.
Offers must be in accordance with Attachment 1, Sections I through V of this solicitation. Incomplete or unsigned offers will not be considered. Offerors should retain copies of all offer materials for their records.
This solicitation in no way obligates USAID to award a PSC contract, nor does it commit USAID to pay any cost incurred in the preparation and submission of the offers.
Any questions must be directed in writing to the Point of Contact specified in the attached information.
Charles S. “Chuck” Pope
Supervisory Contracting Officer
I. GENERAL INFORMATION
1. SOLICITATION NO.: 72066019R10009
2. ISSUANCE DATE: September 9, 2019
3. CLOSING DATE/TIME FOR RECEIPT OF OFFERS: September 23, 2019 at 17:00 (Kinshasa Time)
4. POSITION TITLE: Travel Specialist
5. MARKET VALUE: Equivalent to FSN-9 in accordance with AIDAR Appendix J and the Local Compensation Plan of USAID/Democratic Republic of the Congo. Final compensation will be negotiated within the listed market value.
6. PERIOD OF PERFORMANCE: The period of performance is five (5) years. The services provided under this contract are expected to be of continuing nature executed by USAID through a series of sequential contracts, subject to availability of funds, satisfactory job performance and need for continued services.
7. PLACE OF PERFORMANCE: Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)
8. SECURITY LEVEL REQUIRED: Regional Security Office Clearance
9. STATEMENT OF DUTIES
A. Basic Function of Position
Working under the general supervision of a Deputy Executive Officer, the Travel Specialist leads, manages and supervises two EXO Travel Unit staff members to provide a full range of travel, transportation, and temporary lodging services to USAID/DROC Mission staff and visitors, as well as for programs in the Central African Republic (CAR) and the Republic of Congo (ROC). The Travel Specialist is responsible for providing high-level travel policy advice, information distribution functions, and overall travel and transportation services to U.S. Direct Hire (USDH), as well as U.S., Third Country National (TCN), and Cooperating Country National (CCN) Personal Services Contract (PSC) personnel. The incumbent liaises with the EXO Human Resources Unit, USAID/Washington Office of Travel and Transportation, the travel contractor agency and other operational activities (e.g. GSO Motorpool, shipping) to ensure that necessary travel arrangements, transportation logistics and plans for all Mission staff and TDY visitors are in place for smooth movement and operations. The position serves as USAID/DROC subject matter expert on USG travel and transportation policies and practices, ensuring that USAID/DROC personnel comply with Mission and Agency regulations, procedures, and guidelines. The incumbent serves as the focal point for United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) flights and the administrator for the E2 travel system.
B. Major Duties and Responsibilities
The incumbent is responsible for
- Planning, coordinating and arranging the full range of travel services provided to U.S, TCN and CCN employees of USAID/DROC and travel and accommodation support services to official visitors.
- Services provided include, but are not limited to, official and assignment travel and transportation support, customer service, problem resolution, visitor coordination, and performance of a variety of administrative support functions for USAID Mission personnel assigned to post as well as for high-level VIP visitors and TDYers who visit the Mission.
- The incumbent works closely with the EXO Human Resources Unit to obtain information on authorized travelers, processes eCC requests, and ensures that motor pool and expeditor services, accommodation, welcome kit, and social sponsor are arranged when employees are arriving or departing DROC, CAR, or ROC; ensures employees are well informed on all matters related to Post-funded travel, and provides guidance to travelers and Mission management on travel rules and regulations.
- The incumbent serves as the Mission’s e2 software Administrator/Super User. The incumbent is the primary point of contact to deal with the travel contractor and works closely with the Executive Officers in handling complex issues on travel arrangements.
Travel and Transportation Management Support: 40%
- The incumbent plans, coordinates and provides a wide range of travel services, including arranging official travel, processing travel orders, and making airline reservations for all official Mission travelers and authorized dependents.
- The incumbent arranges and processes travel documents for foreign and domestic TDY travel and for assignment travel for all USAID DROC personnel, VIPs, and other invitational and TDY travelers. Official travel includes the full range of assignment travel, including arrival and departure from Post, rest and recuperation, home leave, educational travel, medical evacuation travel, emergency travel, VIP travel, separation, invitational travel, travel for consultation, training, workshops, conferences, and all other TDY travel required in the course of the performance of daily USAID business.
- The incumbent processes travel requests, travel authorizations, blanket travel orders, and their amendments, and is the Mission’s subject matter expert on the use of e2 software.
- Assures all necessary approval documents are obtained prior to travel.
- Ensures there are sufficient funds in the travel authorization to cover the cost of the trip, including carrier costs, per diem, and miscellaneous expenses.
- The incumbent is the Subject Matter Expert and the Systems Administrator for the e2 system, responsible for adding new employees, resetting passwords, takes the lead in resolving e2 issues locally, or with Washington based experts, and performs other systems administrator duties.
- The incumbent provides assistance to non-presence countries (ROC and CAR) with e2 related issues/problems.
- Also, the incumbent is responsible for ensuring that the log of all Mission TAs issued is updated and accurate and ensures complete and accurate accounting for all TAs used.
- S/he serves as the Mission e2 Trainer and is responsible for training all Administrative Assistants to become proficient e2 arrangers as well as training employees, travelers and supervisors on how to initiate the TA process and informing them of their roles and responsibilities in the TA and e2 process
- The incumbent serves as the advisor and subject matter expert on USG travel regulations providing guidance and interpretation of government travel regulations, procedures and practices to the Deputy Executive Officers, the Supervisory Executive Officer and all Mission staff.
- The incumbent advises Mission employees on travel entitlements and applicable USG travel regulations. Reviews travel arrangements to ensure compliance with regulations and procedures (Fly America Act, 14 FAM, 3 FAM and FAH regulations, Federal Travel Regulations, direct routing, city-pair fares, per diem costs, availability of funding, etc.), and ensures that all employees are well informed on all matters related to post-funded travel. Determines applicability and proper interpretation of governing official travel policies, or recommends changes in established policy when necessary. Frequently, indirect travel is involved in which case the incumbent must ensure that travelers use American Flag carriers in compliance with regulations, and applies and calculates cost-construct fares and allowances connected with travel.
- Plans and prepares travel arrangements to include assembling itineraries with appropriate routes, stopovers, and times, and determines best routing and schedules, corresponding with travel itineraries.
- Work requires a customer-friendly, can-do attitude, as well as firmness and tact to deal with customers requesting exceptions to standing regulations and Mission policy.
- The incumbent advises employees on necessary travel documents, permits, travel health insurance requirements, visa/residence permit requirements, and other travel related documents as well as providing advice on travel-related allowances such as the shipping allowance, per diem, etc.
- Serves as the USAID focal point for UNHAS. As the focal point, the incumbent will determine the eligibility of passengers and be solely responsible for the contents of all reservation forms forwarded by USAID for use of UNHAS services.
Travel Unit Management 30%
- The incumbent leads, manages and supervises the Travel Unit staff in the provision of the full range of travel and transportation services provided to the Mission.
- The incumbent represents the USAID/DROC Travel Unit in different meetings within and outside of USAID.
- The incumbent provides orientation briefings to newly hired employees on USAID travel operations and also provides training to Mission administrative personnel on voucher processing, eCC processing and other travel-related issues.
- The incumbent is responsible for maintaining and upkeep of emergency preparedness documents and records.
- Creates and maintains historical information both in hard copy and electronically from past evacuations and emergencies so that mission is prepared for future incidents; creates a record of lessons learned and best practices to refer to in the future.
- Maintains the evacuation resources webpage in the EXO Tool Box.
- On a quarterly basis, reviews the accuracy of documents, ensures that all links function properly, and are updated with the most current best practices and evacuation policy available.
- Regularly updates evacuation travel authorizations, maintains current and up to date evacuation budget for 30 days up to 180 day scenarios for all USDH/TCN employees to be used in the event of an evacuation.
- Keeps aware of the security situation in different areas of the country and makes recommendations for alternate destinations or safest travel options.
- The incumbent prepares, maintains and updates reports on TDY visits, entitlement travel and assignment/departure travel for Mission employees; prepares and maintains USAID travel information for all Mission personnel and TDYers; and prepares correspondence, memoranda and various ad-hoc reports concerning the Mission’s travel and transportation actions.
- The incumbent reviews/prepares the weekly accountability report and visitors list and provides updated copies to the Embassy on a weekly basis.
- Establishes and maintains correspondence files, official travel folders (for USDH, USPSC, and CCNPSC personnel), records of travel documents, and related documents.
- The incumbent maintains Mission travel orders and various administrative notes on travel, per diem, and related topics and drafts and updates Mission Policies on travel and transportation.
- Ensures monthly updates are provided to all Mission staff for current per diem rates, travel regulations, and other important travel issues.
Customer Service and Problem Resolution – 20%
- The work requires professionalism, tact and understanding in frequently stressful situations. Schedules may change quickly and unexpectedly, and emergency situations often occur after hours and on weekends, and travelers under stress may at times be demanding and difficult to deal with.
- The incumbent must at all times remain professional and deal with each situation with tact and understanding. The incumbent determines the nature of customer service problems or problems with processing of transactions regarding travel activities.
- Based on experience and past practice, reviews applicable guidelines to consider options, identifies trends and changes in customer preferences or deviations in standard practices that may affect customer satisfaction, and responds to a variety of questions related to findings that originate from personnel within or outside the Mission.
- Trouble shoots areas that may be resistant to traditional improvement approaches and corrects discrepancies based on extensive practical experience.
- Alerts the Executive Officers of controversial situations or problems that are resistant to conventional solutions and recommends new or revised operating procedures to meet changing business needs.
Travel Management Center (TMC) Liaison 10%
- Ensures that the travel agency understands and acts in accordance with the USAID regulations relating to USG rates and guidelines and works with travel agents to encourage them to offer a wider variety of flights, bookings, and reservations, particularly with regard to American Flag carriers and affiliated companies and to finalize the most direct route with an economical air fare routing for all official travel.
- Educates TMC agents on USG travel regulations to ensure excellent and trouble-free service and negotiate best prices and services for USAID/DROC travelers with the contracted travel agency.
- The incumbent serves as the main point of contact with the travel contactor agency representatives on issues relating to the refund of the unused tickets and reissuance of the tickets.
- Primarily responsible for receiving, reviewing and ensuring the invoices issued by the TMC are accurate and cleared for payment processing.
- Collects issues/comments from customers and coordinates with the travel contractor to resolve any outstanding concerns or issues.
- Reviews/maintains the TDY Database with all mission visitors and accountability reports updated weekly and shared with State Department HRO.
C. Supervisory Relationship: The Travel Assistant will serve under the supervision of the Deputy EXO/Supv EXO.
D. Supervisory Controls: The incumbent will manage one Travel Assistant.
CCN PSCs may participate in temporary duty (TDY) travel to USAID/Washington and other Missions in order to participate in the Foreign Service National Fellowship Program described in ADS 495maa.
10. AREA OF CONSIDERATION: All interested candidates eligible to work in DRC
Cooperating Country National (CCN) is defined as an individual who is a cooperating country citizen or a non-cooperating country citizen lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the cooperating country.
11. PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The work requested does not involve undue physical demands.
12. POINT OF CONTACT: email@example.com
II. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR THIS POSITION
The education and experience factors below determine basic eligibility for the position. Applicants who do not meet all of education and experience factors are considered NOT qualified for the position.
College/University studies in Management, Business Administration, Public Administration or related Social Science or Liberal Arts field is required.
B. Prior Work Experience:
Minimum of three to five years of professional experience in the field of travel management in the airline retailing industry (e.g. travel agency, airport, airline). Experience using Sabre and any other Global Distribution System (GDS) for example (Amadeus, Galileo, Sabre, or Worldspan).
III. EVALUATION AND SELECTION FACTORS
The evaluation and selection criteria of the selected candidate will be based on a review of his/her qualifications, work experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, and level of language required. The applicants who obtain the highest score based on the criteria defined will be interviewed and may also be required to pass a written test (depending on the TEC Chairperson’s decision). The security clearance and medical clearance is required for the top ranking candidate, after conducting and receiving the positive reference checks.
Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs):
Job Knowledge (50 points)
Must have industry knowledge and reservations skills in order to create multi-segment, multi-destination International itineraries. Must have proven ability to create international travel arrangements including air, hotel and ground transportation. At least 80% of transactions will be multi-segment, multi-destination international itineraries. Understanding and expertise in international travel requirements, i.e. visas, passports and immunization requirements; excellent communication skills and follow through required to advise clients of those requirements. Expert knowledge of the host country including cities, airports and local events as well as familiarity with the different cultures in the host country and region. Excellent knowledge of office procedures, practices and customer service principles. Experience supervising and mentoring others. Experience managing a service unit responsible for providing travel services to customers.
Skills and Abilities (30 points)
The incumbent must demonstrate excellent customer service skills, professional attitude, patience, tact and diplomacy in handling requests and inquiries from customers, excellent attention to detail. Must be able to exercise sound judgment, originate creative solutions within a regulatory framework for addressing concerns and handling requests. Must be able to work independently with little oversight. Must have the capacity to work in a multicultural context and be able to work closely with all Mission staff and effectively explain procedures and requirements tactfully while gaining their cooperation and understanding. Must have the ability to handle multi-cultural and multilingual clientele. Must be self-sufficient and use available sources such as the Automated Directives System (ADS) State Department websites, and Federal Travel Regulations (FTR) to successfully administer the travel unit.
C. Language Proficiency (20 points)
Level IV (fluent) English is required speaking, reading and writing. Level IV (fluent) French is required speaking, reading and writing.
- Knowledge: 50 points
- Skills and Abilities: 30 points
- Language: 20 points
Satisfactory Professional Reference Checks-Pass/Fail (no points assigned)
Total Possible Points: 100 points
IV. PRESENTING AN OFFER
1. Eligible Offerors are required to complete, sign and submit the offer form- DS-174 Application for U.S. Federal Employment with a cover letter and CV. All the three documents must be in English. The DS-174 Application form can be found in the US embassy websitehttps://cd.usembassy.gov/embassy/jobs/job-opportunities/
2. Offers must be received by September 23, 2019 at 17:00 (Kinshasa Time) via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. To ensure consideration of offers for the intended position, Offerors must prominently reference the Solicitation Number in the offer submission.
Once the Contracting Officer (CO) informs the successful Offeror about being selected for a contract award, the CO will provide the successful Offeror instructions about how to complete and submit the following forms:
- Medical History and Examination Form (Department of State Forms)
- Questionnaire for Non-Sensitive Positions (SF-85)
- Finger Print Card (FD-258)
As a matter of policy, and as appropriate, a PSC is normally authorized the following benefits and allowances: Child Allowance, Spouse allowance, 13th and 14th Month Bonuses, Housing Allowance, and Miscellaneous Allowance, Medical Coverage, Annual Leave and Sick Leave.
The employees are responsible for calculating and paying local income taxes. The USAID/DRC does not withhold or make local income tax payments.
VIII. USAID REGULATIONS, POLICIES AND CONTRACT CLAUSES PERTAINING TO PSCs
USAID regulations and policies governing CCN/TCN PSC awards are available at these sources:
1. USAID Acquisition Regulation (AIDAR), Appendix J, “Direct USAID Contracts With a Cooperating Country National and with a Third Country National for Personal Services Abroad,” including contract clause “General Provisions,” available at https://www.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/documents/1868/aidar_0.pdf
2. Contract Cover Page form AID 309-1 available at https://www.usaid.gov/forms
3. Acquisition & Assistance Policy Directives/Contract Information Bulletins (AAPDs/CIBs) for Personal Services Contracts with Individuals available at http://www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/aapds-cibs
4. Ethical Conduct. By the acceptance of a USAID personal services contract as an individual, the contractor will be acknowledging receipt of the “Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch,” available from the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, in accordance with General Provision 2 and 5 CFR 2635. See https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/OGE%20Regulations
END OF SOLICITATION
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY: The USAID Mission in DRC provides equal opportunity and fair and equitable treatment in employment to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, or sexual orientation. USAID/DRC also strives to achieve equal employment opportunity in all personnel operations.
The EEO complaint procedure is available to individuals who believe they have been denied equal opportunity based upon marital status or political affiliation. Individuals with such complaints should avail themselves of the appropriate grievance procedures, remedies for prohibited personnel practices, and/or courts for relief.