This Position Is No Longer Available
  1. Overview
  2. Duties
  3. Qualifications & Evaluations
  4. Benefits & Other Info
  5. How to Apply

Job Title:Paralegal Specialist (FOIA/PA)

Department:Department Of Homeland Security

Agency:Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Job Announcement Number:LAG-FOI-788314-SB-164

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.

SALARY RANGE:

$51,630.00 to $81,204.00 / Per Year

OPEN PERIOD:

Thursday, November 15, 2012 to Thursday, November 29, 2012

SERIES & GRADE:

GS-0950-09/11

POSITION INFORMATION:

Full Time - Permanent

PROMOTION POTENTIAL:

11

DUTY LOCATIONS:

1 vacancy in the following location:
Washington DC, DC United StatesView Map

WHO MAY APPLY:

United States Citizens

JOB SUMMARY:

Do you desire to protect American interests and secure our Nation while building a meaningful and rewarding career? If so, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is calling. DHS components work collectively to prevent terrorism, secure borders, enforce and administer immigration laws, safeguard cyberspace and ensure resilience to disasters. The vitality and magnitude of this mission is achieved by a diverse workforce spanning hundreds of occupations. Make an impact; join DHS.

This is a key position within the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). ICE utilizes the government's second largest cadre of law enforcement officers to ensure our nation's economic, transportation and infrastructure security. ICE enforces immigration and customs laws. Our talented and courageous workforce identifies criminal activities and eliminates vulnerabilities that pose a threat to our nation's borders.

ICE is the primary investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With more than 19,000 employees in 400 offices around the world, ICE is a key component of the DHS layered defense approach to protecting our nation. For additional information about ICE and career opportunities go to http://www.ice.gov/

Who May Apply

  • All U.S. citizens
  • For definitions of terms found in this announcement, please click here

Organizational Location: This position is located in the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Office of the Director, Office of Freedom of Information Act, Duty Location: Washington, DC.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses will not be paid.

Note: One or more positions may be filled using this vacancy announcement.

KEY REQUIREMENTS

  • U.S. Citizenship
  • Ability to pass background investigation and drug screen for fed employment
  • Relevant Experience (see Qualifications and Evaluations Tab)
  • Complete Application Package (see How to Apply Tab)
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must certify registration with Selective Service

DUTIES:

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As a Paralegal Specialist, you will process Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) requests received by the organization, from initial evaluation to final document release or denial. Specifically, you will:

  • Process the complex and sensitive FOIA/PA actions, preparing affidavits, litigation reports, correspondence, notices, internal memoranda, or other documentation as necessary;
  • Research and analyze legal issues that arise in conjunction with handling complex initial requests for ICE records;
  • Provide advice regarding FOIA regulations, disclosure of agency records, exemptions from full or partial disclosure, and confidential business information;
  • Coordinate with FOIA/PA Officers in other organizations on FOIA/PA matters to include request, appeals and litigation;
  • Keep abreast of the status of recent developments in the field of public disclosure, including recent court and departmental decisions and current legislative activities; and
  • Examine case files prepared by other Paralegal Specialists and FOIA Assistants to determine accuracy and sufficiency of evidence and documentation.


QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED:

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GS-9: You qualify at the GS-9 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience that equipped you with the skills needed to perform the job duties. This experience must have been equivalent to at least the GS-7 grade level. Examples include:

  • Applying extensive knowledge of the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Privacy Act (PA), Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Bureau regulations, laws and policies to ensure that information is lawfully released or withheld;
  • Applying extensive knowledge of the principles, concepts and methods of legal research and analysis to review documents for potential release of information;
  • Processing a wide range of FOIA/PA actions, preparing affidavits, litigation reports, correspondence, notices, internal memoranda, or other documentation as necessary;
  • Performing detailed analysis and evaluation of requests to determine whether the information sought is subject to release under FOIA/PA regulations or is eligible for exemption from release; and
  • Comparing and correlating all evidence, investigative reports, and information obtained from other sources. OR,
  • You may substitute a Master's degree or 2 full years of graduate education in a qualifying field or a L.L.B./J.D. degree for the experience required at the GS-9 grade level. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work of the position. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise two years of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 36 semester or 54 quarter hours.

GS-11: You qualify at the GS-11 level if you possess one (1) year of specialized experience that equipped you with the skills needed to perform the job duties. This experience must have been equivalent to at least the GS-9 grade level. Examples include:

  • Conducting independent legal research and analysis on FOIA/PA issues, which includes researching, interpreting, and applying a vast number of FOIA statues and precedents;
  • Utilizing various data record systems to locate files and information;
  • Preparing affidavits, litigation reports, correspondence, notices, internal memoranda, or other documentation as necessary; and
  • Responding to FOIA/PA inquiries. OR,
  • You may substitute a Doctoral degree or 3 full years of graduate education in a qualifying field or a L.L.M./Ph.D. degree for the experience required at the GS-11 grade level. This education must have been obtained from an accredited college or university and demonstrate the skills necessary to do the work of the position. Check with your school to determine how many credit hours comprise two years of graduate education. If that information is not available, use 36 semester or 54 quarter hours.

Note: Appropriate combinations of successfully completed education and experience (as outlined above) also may be used to meet the total qualification requirements for the GS-9 and 11 grade levels.

Qualification requirements must be met by the closing date of this announcement. Qualification claims will be subject to verification.


Requirements:

Requirements by Closing Date: Unless otherwise noted, you must meet all requirements by the closing date of the announcement. 

Probationary Period: This is a full-time permanent position (Career/Career-Conditional appointment). Upon appointment to this position, you may be required to serve a one-year probationary period.

HOW YOU WILL BE EVALUATED:

We will review your resume and supporting documentation to ensure you meet the basic qualification requirements.  If you meet the minimum qualifications, your experience, education and training  will be rated using an Assessment Questionnaire.  The questions are related to the following fundamental competencies (or Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities) needed to perform the duties of this job: Technical Competence; Oral/Written Communication; Attention to Detail; Decision Making; Technology Application; and Self-Management.

Based on your responses, you will be placed in one of the following categories:

  1. Best Qualified: Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a superior level of all evaluation criteria.
  2. Well Qualified:  Applicants possessing a background that demonstrates a satisfactory level of the evaluation criteria.
  3. Qualified:  Applicants possessing the basic qualifications, with general knowledge, skills, and abilities.

Applicants in the best qualified category will be referred to the hiring manager and may be called for an interview.

ICTAP/CTAP Eligibles:  If you have never worked for the federal government, you are not ICTAP/CTAP eligible.  Information about ICTAP or CTAP eligibility is on the OPM's Career Transition Resources website at http://www.opm.gov/ctap/index.asp.  To be considered well qualified under ICTAP/CTAP you must be placed in the well qualified category for this position as described above. 

Veterans:  Veterans with 5-point preference who meet the eligibility and qualification requirements are placed above non-preference eligibles within the category in which they are qualified.  Veterans who have a compensable service-connected disability of at least 10% are placed in the best qualified category above non-preference eligibles, except when the position being filled is scientific or professional at the GS-09 grade level or higher. This position IS NOT considered scientific/professional.  For more information regarding veterans' preference, please see: http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.


BENEFITS:

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DHS offers competitive salaries and an attractive benefits package:  health, dental, vision, life, and long-term care insurance; retirement plan; Thrift Savings Plan [similar to a 401(k)]; Flexible Spending Account; Employee Assistance Program; personal leave days; and paid federal holidays.  Other benefits may include:  flexible work schedules; telework; tuition reimbursement; transportation subsidies; uniform allowance; health and wellness programs; and fitness centers.  DHS is committed to employee development and offers a variety of employee training and developmental opportunities.  For more information, go to www.dhs.gov/careers and select "benefits".



OTHER INFORMATION:

Promotion Potential: When promotion potential is shown, the agency is not making a commitment and is not obligated to provide future promotions to you if you are selected. Future promotions will be dependent on your ability to perform the duties at a higher level, the continuing need for an employee assigned to the higher level, and administrative approval.

HOW TO APPLY:

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To apply for this position, you need only submit a complete initial Application which includes:

1. Your Résumé
2. A complete Occupational Questionnaire
3. Required documents to support your minimum qualifications and eligibility (see Required Documents section below)

The complete initial Application must be submitted by 11:59 PM (EST) on Thursday, November 29, 2012.

To begin the process, click the Apply Online button to create an account or log in to your existing USAJOBS account.  Follow the prompts to complete the occupational questionnaire. Please ensure you click the Submit My Answers button at the end of the process. 
 
Note: To check the status of your application or return to a previous or incomplete application, log into your USAJOBS account, select Application Status, and click on the more information link under the application status for this position. 

To fax supporting documents you are unable to upload, complete this cover page http://staffing.opm.gov/pdf/usascover.pdf using the following Vacancy ID 788314.  Fax your documents to 1-478-757-3144.

If you cannot apply online:

1. Click the following link to view and print the occupational questionnaire View Occupational Questionnaire

2. Print this 1203FX form to provide your response to the occupational questionnaire http://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/OPM1203fx.pdf, and
3. Fax the completed 1203FX form along with any supporting documents to 1-478-757-3144. Your 1203FX will serve as a cover page for your fax transmission.



REQUIRED DOCUMENTS:

  • Resume showing relevant experience (education, training, and/or work experience; work experience should include job title, duties, employer's name, daytime telephone number and address, starting and ending dates, hours worked per week, and indicate if we may contact your current supervisor.
  • Veterans Documentation reflecting qualifying service for 5pt or 10pt preference (DD-214 or equivalent, SF-15 and VA Letter, as appropriate).  Click here for more information.
  • Proof of eligibility if applying for consideration under a priority selection program (e.g. ICTAP) or a special appointing authority.
  • Transcripts or a list of college courses, with credit hours, major(s) and grade point average or class ranking, name and address of institution.  Prior to appointment, an official college transcript will be required. This education must be from an institution accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

Applications and supporting documentation will not be accepted my mail or email.  If you need further assistance, contact the Human Resources Office representative listed on this announcement at least one day prior to Thursday, November 29, 2012 for further instructions.

You must submit all required information by Thursday, November 29, 2012.  If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.  Also, if you do not provide an email address, you may not be notified of the outcome of your application.

AGENCY CONTACT INFO:

HR Assistant
Phone: (949)360-3058
Email: HRASSTDRO@DHS.GOV
Agency Information:
ICE Laguna Service Center
24000 Avila Road 5th Floor
Laguna Niguel, CA
92677
USA

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT:

Once you submit your application, we will assess your experience and training, identify the best qualified applicants, and refer those applications to the hiring manager for further consideration and interviews.  We will notify you by email the outcome after each of these steps has been completed.  Your status will also be updated on your USAJobs and Application Manager accounts throughout the process. We expect to make a final job offer within 90 days after the deadline for applications.  If you are selected, we will conduct a suitability/security background investigation.


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Job Announcement Number:

LAG-FOI-788314-SB-164

Control Number:

331355700