Forest Service GOVERNMENT INFORMATION SPECIALIST in Washington, District Of Columbia

  • Duties



The two positions are located in the Office of Regulatory and Management Services - FOIA unit in Washington, D.C. The incumbent is responsible for planning, developing, analyzing, evaluating, directing and administering both the Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act (FOIA/PA) programs in the Forest Service Washington Office, with responsibility for the execution, administration and conduct of both programs. Additionally, the incumbent serves as a FOIA/PA analyst, functioning as a technical FOIA and PA expert.

For additional information about the duties of this position, please contact Linda Lasko, phone: (202) 401-4071, email:

Positions may be filled as career ladders or could be filled at the full performance level dependent upon the individual unit’s needs. Example: The selecting official may select at any grade to include the full performance level of the position. However, not all positions will be filled at the highest grade level.

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Participates with the Branch manager and other members of the Branch in the overall planning, organization, and administration of the FOIA and PA programs. Coordinates among resource program area staff employees and managers nationwide, and attorneys to prepare final complete and legally sufficient responses to complex FOIA and PA requests, appeals, fee waivers, and lawsuits.

Researches, gathers background information, reviews responsive records, and completes information packages for management review and signature in response to requests. Reviews all information in records to determine its exempt or non-exempt status under the FOIA or PA. Applies analytical skills and the ability to recognize and analyze problems, develop action plans to resolve them, and negotiate complex actions with Deputy Chiefs and Staff Directors, field units, the Department, and other agencies.

Handles sensitive information, in accordance with laws and agency policies, in a confidential manner.

Duties listed are at the full performance level.

Travel Required

Occasional travel - Travel should be less than once per year.

Supervisory status


Promotion Potential


Who May Apply
This job is open to…

Current permanent Federal employees with competitive status, Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act, CTAP/RPL/ICTAP, VEOA, VRA, and reinstatement eligibles, Farm Service Agency permanent county employees; 30% or more disabled veterans; Individuals with Disabilities; former Peace Corps or VISTA volunteers; certain Military Spouses; and those eligible for other special hiring authorities.

Questions? This job is open to 7 groups.

  • #### Job family (Series)

0306 Government Information Specialist

  • Requirements


Conditions of Employment
  • You must be a US Citizen or US National.
  • Males born after 12/31/59 must be Selective Service registered or exempt.



Applicants must meet all qualifications and eligibility requirements by the closing date of the announcement as defined below. For more information on the qualifications for this position, go to: .

Transcripts must be provided for qualifications based on education. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate education and/or experience requirements.

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. You must possess the Basic Requirements identified below to be considered eligible for this position. Your application or resume must clearly show that you possess the appropriate experience requirements.

Applicants will be evaluated on their ability to perform the duties of the position rather than length of experience. Eligibility will be determined by the relevance, scope and quality of all experience and training, regardless of where or how acquired. Applicants will be ranked and rated based on their knowledge of the job elements identified below:

GS-11: Applicants must have one year of specialized experience that is equivalent to at least the GS-09 grade level;

OR a Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree, or 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree;

OR an appropriate combination of specialized experience and graduate level education (beyond what is required for a masters degree, i.e., more than 36 semester hours leading to a Ph.D.). Specialized experience is defined as reviewing and analyzing FOIA and/or PA requests for information. Assists management in providing advice and guidance to supervisor and managers regarding FOIA/PA policies and procedures. Compiles, analyzes and coordinates statistical data and prepares information for consolidation into the annual FOIA/PA congressional report.

GS-12: One year of specialized experience that is equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Specialized experience is defined as handling all aspects of management and execution in regards to the FOIA/PA programs. Participates with other managers nationwide to provide program support in regards to handling FOIA/PA requests, appeals, fee waivers and lawsuits. Able to serve as the FOIA/PA technical expert, to provide guidance and organization within the programs.

To receive consideration for these positions, you must meet all qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

* TIME IN GRADE REQUIREMENT* : If you are a current federal employee in the General Schedule (GS) pay plan and applying for a promotion opportunity, you must meet time-in-grade (TIG) requirements of 52 weeks of service at the next lower grade level in the normal line of progression for the position being filled. This requirement must be met by the closing date of this announcement.


See above for education requirements for this position.

Additional information

Career Transition Assistance Plan (CTAP), Reemployment Priority List (RPL) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Plan (ICTAP):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.

Veterans who are preference eligible or who have been separated from the armed forces under honorable conditions after three years or more of continuous active service are eligible for consideration under the Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA).

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. 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.

For more information on applying under special hiring authorities such as the Veteran’s Recruitment Act (VRA), 30 percent disabled veterans, certain military spouses and Schedule A Disabled may be found on the USAJOBS website.

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.

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 not guaranteed.

Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act (LMWFA) provides current or former temporary or term employees of federal land management agencies opportunity to compete for permanent competitive service positions. Individuals must have more than 24 months of service without a break between appointments of two or more years. Service must be in the competitive service and have been at a successful level of performance or better.

This position is eligible for telework and other flexible work arrangements.

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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:

  • Knowledge of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and the Privacy Act (PA).
  • Knowledge of Federal laws, standards and guidelines to administer a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and Privacy Act (PA) program.
  • Ability to communicate other than in writing.
  • Ability to communicate in writing.

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 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" button to the right.

To view the application form, visit:;=A46302C9-3BA0-44DD-9170-A89600ABC8EE

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Background checks and security clearance
Security clearance


  • Required Documents


Required Documents

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. All transcripts must be in English or include an English translation.

In addition to the above, you must submit the documents below if you claim any of the following:

  • Current and former Federal employees: 1) Most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) showing that you are/were in the competitive service, highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND 2) Most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) showing the official rating of record, signed by a supervisor, or statement why the performance appraisal is unavailable. Do not submit a performance plan.
  • Surplus or displaced employees eligible for CTAP, RPL, or ICTAP priority: 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.
  • Land Management Workforce Flexibility Act Eligible Applicants: Notification of Personnel Actions (SF-50s) showing you have served in appropriate appointment(s) for a period/periods that total more than 24 months without a break in service of two or more years. You must include the initial hire actions, extensions, conversions and termination/separation SF-50s for each period of work; AND Performance Rating(s) or other evidence showing acceptable performance for ALL periods counted toward the more than 24 months of service. You must provide: 1) Performance Rating(s) showing an acceptable level of performance for period(s) of employment counted towards your eligibility, signed by your supervisor(s); or 2) If documentation of a rating does not exist for one or more periods, a statement from your supervisor(s) or other individual in the chain of command indicating an acceptable level of performance for the period(s) of employment counted towards your eligibility; or 3) If you do not have a Performance Rating or other performance documentation (outlined in 1 and 2 above) for any period that you are using to qualify for eligibility under the LMWFA, you must provide: A stated reason as to why the appraisal/documentation is not available, and a statement that your performance for all periods was at an acceptable level, your most recent separation was for reasons other than misconduct or performance, and you were never notified that you were not eligible for rehire based on performance. (This shall be accepted in lieu of providing copies of the performance appraisals).
  • Current permanent FSA County employees: most recent non-award Notification of Personnel Action, (SF-50 or equivalent) showing your highest grade (or promotion potential) held on a permanent basis, position title, series and grade AND most recent performance appraisal (dated within 18 months) per above.
  • VEOA, VRA and 30% Disabled Veterans: please review the Required Documents for Hiring Authorities Quick Guide on the Forest Service website.
  • If claiming eligibility under a special hiring authority not listed above, please review the Required Documents for Hiring Authorities Quick Guide on the Forest Servicewebsite.
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.

  • Benefits



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.

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 view Tips for Applicants– a guide to the Forest Service application process. 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.

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Agency contact information
HRM Contact Center

877-372-7248, option 2







USDA Forest Service Do not mail in applications, see instructions under the How to Apply tab. Albuquerque, NM, United States

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Next steps

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 to check your application status. We expect to make a final job offer approximately 40 days after the deadline for applications.

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  • 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

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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 and hiring process 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.

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Legal and regulatory guidance
  • Financial suitability
  • Social security number request
  • Privacy Act
  • Signature and false statements
  • Selective Service
  • 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: 03/09/2018 to 03/22/2018

Salary: $68,036 to $106,012 per year

Pay scale & grade: GS 11 - 12

Work schedule: Full-Time

Appointment type: Permanent