AREA OF CONSIDERATION: This position is open to all candidates eligible to work in the United States.
Note: First consideration may be made 14 days after the opening date. This is a career ladder opportunity with promotion potential to grade 9 level. Candidates selected at the grade 7 may be non competitively promoted to the next grade level upon the recommendation of the supervisor based on classification requirements, satisfactory performance and qualifications of the employee.
The Purchasing Agent This is the position of Purchasing Agent, Subcontracts and Procurement Department, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO). Employee supports all SAO activities and locations in Massachusetts, Arizona and Hawaii. This position is located in Cambridge Massachusetts.
Please note that while telework may be an option under this appointment, you must first discuss and receive approval from Management.
Places orders with vendors, nationwide, for a wide variety of technical materials, supplies and services, ranging from common office and maintenance supplies to electronic components, information technology supplies and accessories, and including equipment maintenance and repair services, as well as commonly purchased commercial items and services. Orders are generally of a value not exceeding $25,000.00.
Utilizes various methods including telephone ordering, written orders, web-based (internet) ordering, purchase card and telephone and formal RFQ bid procedures with selection dependent upon price and availability. Telephone/email bid procedures may require submission of formal proposals by suppliers.
Generally, uses existing, established SAO or Smithsonian sources of supply. Occasionally, identifies new sources of supply for the general use of the department.
Follows up procurements with expediting activity to ensure that items are received on schedule.
Arranges returns and exchanges of defective or unsatisfactory goods.
Consults with requisitioners and administrators concerning difficulties or special circumstances of procurements.
Contacts vendors to resolve discrepancies in quantity or quality of the items received, amounts billed, and similar problems.
Provides assistance to Accounts Payable, Shipping & Receiving and other administrative functions in resolving difficulties related to purchasing activity.
Performs special assignments for supervisor or other senior department personnel.
Coordinates purchasing activity with the Property Department.
In addition to the above grade 8 duties: Interviews sales representatives in order to obtain information as to availability of material and equipment. Assures that firms interested in bidding are placed on the prospective bidders list and are circularized for quotations, when applicable. Gives out awards information. Answers questions concerning Government procedures and policies, and initiates correspondence in response to inquiries.
In addition to the above grades 7 and 8 duties for grade 9: Negotiates terms of purchase orders, analyzes pricing proposals and obligates funds by signing purchase orders, blanket purchase agreements, or by issuing delivery orders under the terms of existing contracts. Deals directly with representatives of business and commercial industry and reaches mutual agreement on terms of procurement, and obtains timely
delivery of supplies and services at the most reasonable prices.
Candidates for the grade-07 level must have at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade-06 level. Examples of specialized experience for the grade-7 level include procuring materials, supplies, equipment, and services within the small purchase limitations; assisting in the solicitation of quotes from suppliers; drafting invitations for bid or requests for quotations to potential suppliers; reviewing responses to quotes/bid solicitations; compiling bidder's lists; and preparing technical correspondence.
Candidates for the grade-08 level must have at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade-07 level. Examples of specialized experience for the grade-8 level include procuring materials, supplies, equipment, and services within the small purchase limitations; soliciting quotes from suppliers and negotiating with them by phone; drafting invitations for bid or requests for quotations to potential suppliers; evaluating responses to quotes/bid solicitations; compiling bidder's lists; performing procurement research for requisitioners; preparing technical correspondence; and issuing orders against Federal Supply Schedules and term contracts.
Candidates for the grade-09 level must have at least one full year of specialized experience equivalent to the grade-08. Examples of specialized experience for the grade-9 level include procuring materials, supplies, equipment, and services within the small purchase limitations; soliciting quotes from suppliers and negotiating with them by phone; writing invitations for bid or requests for quotations to potential suppliers; adapting special clauses and regulatory requirements to purchases above a predetermined dollar amount; evaluating responses to quotes/bid solicitations; ensuring that requests for procurements are clear and precise; compiling bidder's lists; performing procurement research for requisitioners; locating technical or hard-to-find items; and initiating follow-up actions.
For qualifications standards please refer to opm website: https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/1100/purchasing-series-1105/
Candidates for all grade levels must possess: knowledge of solicitation or purchasing methods, to make competitive or sole source small purchases; Knowledge of price analysis techniques to evaluate prices or costs for requirements with inadequate price history or evaluate allowable charges for requirements involving special cost features; knowledge of federal government procurement procedures and regulations, including familiarity with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR); and good oral and written communication skills.
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Application Procedures: We are only accepting online applications for this position. To apply please visit USAJOBS
The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity in our workplace.