The position is located in the Office of Ethics (OE), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management.Learn more about this agency
As an Ethics Specialist, you will be responsible for the following:
Researches and interprets regulations and statutes governing employee conduct under the Ethics in Government Act, Hatch Act, Procurement Integrity Act, Federal Election Campaign Act, Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act, and other related statutes.
Provides authoritative oral and written advice and recommendations to managers, supervisors, and key officials on policies and procedures that concern conflict of interest statutes and regulations, standards of conduct, ethics program policies, and other ethics related matters.
Provides advisory services to senior level officials, managers and employees on their obligations under the Ethics in Government Act and assists them in finding an appropriate resolution of real or apparent conflicts of interest or potential violations of other ethics related regulations.
Analyzes the impact of new and existing regulations on ethics policies, procedures and written guidance materials to ensure compliance with Office of Government Ethics (OGE) program requirements; prepares program or procedural modifications. Develops formal policy directives, including ethics handbooks for managers and employees or similar formal policy documents.
Reviews official employee position descriptions to determine whether incumbents are required to file financial disclosure reports and/or attend mandatory annual ethics training.
Advises staff of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), staff in labor and employee relations functional areas and managers and employees throughout USDA regarding ethics issues, real and potential ethics conflicts, and the application of civil and criminal statutes for ethics cases and related situations.
Develops and presents briefing and training sessions addressing all ethics related topics including but not limited to: new employee orientation, conflict of interest, invitations from non-Federal sources, gift acceptance, political activity, seeking non-federal employment, post-employment, and non-Federal representations.
This is a developmental position description for the full performance level GS-0301-13.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
• Selectee must be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. If selected you may be subject to a National Agency Check and Inquiry (NACI) and a credit report inquiry.
• To be eligible for appointment to this position, the new hire must be cleared to come on board once the results of the fingerprint check, review of the OF-306, Declaration for Federal Employment, and the candidate’s Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing (eQIP) entries have been reviewed and determined to be satisfactory. This position requires a favorable credit check as part of the background investigation.
• Entrance on duty is contingent upon completion of a pre-employment security investigation. The position is subject to a Public Trust background investigation at the time of appointment, and may be subject to reinvestigation every five years thereafter. A favorable adjudication of the clearance or background investigation at the time of appointment and on reinvestigations is a condition of employment.
Applicants must meet all qualifications requirements by the closing date of the announcement including specialized experience and/or education as defined below.
GS-11: Applicants must have one (1) year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-09 level in the Federal service. Specialized experience is defined as experience which has equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills and abilities to successfully perform the duties of the position and which is in or typically related to the work of the position to be filled. For this position, specialized experience is experience performing a wide range of ethic services, including reviewing and certifying financial disclosure reports; researching, interpreting and applying ethics statutes and regulations in order to provide advice and recommendations to managers, supervisors, and key officials on policies and procedures concerning conflicts of interest; AND delivering ethics or compliance training presentations and developing ethics or compliance training products.
Education: Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., in a related field.
NOTE: Education and experience can be combined to meet the minimum qualification requirements. For GS-11 position, a combination of specialized experience and graduate education which totals at least one year. (To compute, divide your total months of qualifying experience by 12. Then divide your semester hours of graduate education beyond 1 year by 18. Add the two percentages. The total percentage must equal 100% to qualify)
(Note: This experience must be demonstrated on your resume/supporting documents).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.
All academic degrees or course work must be completed in an educational institution that has obtained accreditation from an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
Foreign Education: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show that the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university.
• If you are a male applicant born after December 31, 1959, certify that you have registered with the Selective Service System or are exempt from having to do so.
• BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION AND FINGERPRINT CHECK: Selection and retention in this position is contingent on a successfully adjudicated FBI National Criminal History Check (fingerprint check) and a background investigation.
• 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.
• If you are selected for a position with further promotion potential, you will be placed under a career development plan, and may be non-competitively promoted if you successfully complete the requirements and if recommended by management. However, promotion is neither implied nor guaranteed.
• This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.
• Relocation expenses are not authorized.
• Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc) should contact: USDA's TARGET Center at 202-720-2600 (voice and TDD).
• 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 eligibility see http://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/workforce-restructuring/employee-guide-to-career-transition/. 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.
How You Will Be Evaluated
Applications will be evaluated in accordance with Office of Personnel Managements (OPM) Delegated Examining Procedures using category rating. Applicants who meet basic minimum qualifications will be placed in one of two or three categories: Best Qualified, Well Qualified, or Qualified. Within these categories, applicants eligible for veteran's preference will receive selection priority over non-veterans. Category placement will be determined based on applicants quality of experience and the extent they possess the following knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) or competencies:
- Advisory Services
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.
Clicking the link below will present a preview of the application form; i.e. the online questionnaire. The application form link below will only provide a preview and does not initiate the application process. To initiate the online application process, click the "Apply Online" button to the right.
To view the application form, visit: https://sec.usda.ntis.gov/cp/?event=jobs.previewApplication&jobid=ECD805F6-F7D6-4352-9464-A96D00F9788D
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
The following documents are required for your applicant package to be complete. Our office cannot be responsible for incompatible software, illegible fax transmissions, delays in the mail service, your system failure, etc. Encrypted documents will not be accepted. Failure to submit required, legible documents may result in loss of consideration.
• Resume that includes: 1) personal information such as name, address, contact information; 2) education; 3) detailed work experience related to this position as described in the major duties including work schedule, hours worked per week, dates of employment; title, series, grade (if applicable); 4) supervisor's phone number and whether or not the supervisor may be contacted for a reference check; 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 institute was appropriately accredited by an accrediting body recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as 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 http://www.naces.org/members.htm. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.
• If claiming veterans preference, you must submit a 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 not later than 120 days after the date the certification is submitted. Veterans preference must be verified prior to appointment. Without this documentation, you will not receive veterans preference and your application will be evaluated based on the material(s) submitted.
• If claiming 10-point veterans 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 http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/
• Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority must provide: proof of eligibility (RIF separation notice, notice of proposed removal for declining a transfer of function or directed reassignment to another commuting area, notice of disability annuity termination), SF-50 documenting separation (as applicable), and your most recent SF-50 noting position, grade level, and duty location with your application per 5 CFR 330.
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.
The Federal Service offers a comprehensive benefits package. Explore the benefits offered to most Federal employees at: https://www.usa.gov/benefits-for-federal-employees
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
Please read the entire announcement and all instructions before you begin. You must complete this application process and submit all required documents electronically by 11:59p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on the closing date of this announcement.
Applying online is highly encouraged. We are available to assist you during business hours (normally 8:00a.m. - 4:00p.m., Monday - Friday). If applying online poses a hardship, contact the Agency Contact listed below well before the closing date for an alternate method. All hardship application packages must be complete and submitted no later than noon ET 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 the Agency Contact to request this.
To begin, click "Apply Online" and follow the instructions to complete the Assessment Questionnaire and attach your resume and all required documents.
NOTE: You must verify that uploaded documents from USAJOBS transfer into the Agency's staffing system. Applicants may combine all like required documents (e.g., all SF-50s) into one or more files and scan for uploading into the application. Each file must not exceed 3MB. Grouping like documents into files will simplify the application process. Documents must be in one of the following formats: GIF, JPEG, JPG, PDF, PNG, RTF, or Word (DOC or DOCX). Uploaded documents may not require a password, digital signature, or other encryption to open.
Agency contact information
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC, 20250
USDA provides leadership on food, agriculture, natural resources, rural development, nutrition, and related issues based on sound public policy, the best available science, and efficient management. Our vision is to expand economic opportunity through innovation, helping rural America to thrive; to promote agriculture production sustainability that better nourishes Americans while also helping feed others throughout the world; and to preserve and conserve our Nation's natural resources through restored forests, improved watersheds, and healthy private working lands.
USDA is a great place to start or continue your career. USDA is ranked as one of the top 10 "Best Places to Work in the Federal Government" by the Partnership for Public Service. Rankings are based on employee feedback regarding satisfaction with their work experience.
Your application will be reviewed to verify that you meet the eligibility and qualification requirements for the position prior to issuing referral lists to the selecting official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted. Log in to your USAJOBS account at https://my.usajobs.gov/Account/Login to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.
Multiple positions may be filled from this announcement.
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.
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 in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:
- 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.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/513157600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.