Job Vacancy For Acquisition Specialist At USAID Ghana

The U.S. Mission in Accra, Ghana is seeking highly motivated and qualified individual for the position of ACQUISITION SPECIALIST in the Regional Acquisition and Assistance Office (RAAO) of the USAID/West Africa. The Regional Acquisition & Assistance Office is responsible for procurement of goods and services for programs implemented by USAID/Ghana, and the regional programs implemented by USAID/West Africa. The incumbent performs the full range of contract administration and acquisition functions including developing comprehensive planning strategies and appropriate solicitation documents, and conducting the analysis, evaluation, and negotiation of a wide variety of acquisition and assistance documents, such as contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, endowments, etc.


The position is located in the Regional Acquisition & Assistance Office (RAAO) of USAID/West Africa. The Regional Acquisition & Assistance Office is responsible for procurement of goods and services for programs implemented by USAID/Ghana, and the regional programs implemented by USAID/West Africa. The incumbent performs the full range of contract administration and acquisition functions including developing comprehensive planning strategies and appropriate solicitation documents, and conducting the analysis, evaluation, and negotiation of a wide variety of acquisition and assistance documents, such as contracts, cooperative agreements, grants, endowments, etc. S/he performs these duties for primarily procuring long-term, highly funded complex services, including independently carrying out full and open competitive transactions.


1. Procurement Planning 10%

•   As a fully empowered representative of the RCO, s/he provides advice and guidance to strategic objective teams on procurement policy and procedures in the design and implementation of their activities. As a team member s/he, coordinates the development of procurement objectives for the assigned portfolio in terms of potential implementing organizations, competitive issues, socioeconomic issues, and identifies and constructs the appropriate contract or grant instrument. Negotiates with the SO team to ensure acquisition plans are current, have appropriate milestones, and related schedules.

2. Review & Analysis of Acquisition Requests, & Issuance of Solicitation Documents. 25%

•   Review Modified Acquisition and Assistance Documents (MAARDS) requesting acquisition or assistance instruments for complex services or programs. Analyzes the requirements and determines if the instrument selection or procurement approach is sound, if the work statements or program descriptions are complete, and if the entire package is in compliance with the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR), Automated Directive System (ADS), AID Acquisition Regulations (AIDAR), Handbook 11 and Agency and Mission policies. Ensure that necessary Mission clearances have been obtained, and that waivers and other supporting documentation are complete. Recommends to the requesting team, revisions regarding work statements, budget, classification of terms, reporting requirements, and any special conditions, and ensures that any required performance indicators are developed and included in the solicitation document (Request for Proposal or Request for Application).

•   Develops the solicitation document in compliance with all appropriate regulations and selects and includes correct clauses, and transmits the solicitation for proposals using Internet-based technology. Responds to offerors' questions during the proposal submission phase; and determines the need for, and prepares, clarifying amendments, as required, of solicitation documents. As necessary, may hold pre-bid or consultative meetings with partners to fully explain the Agency’s and counterparts’ needs and to discuss the solicitation documents. This is a complex process requiring a high degree of analysis among, and between competing and often conflicting regulations and objectives, where the incumbent independently exercises judgment involving multi-million dollar issues with significant programmatic implications.

3. Evaluation & In-depth Cost Analysis of bids/offers 15%

•   Evaluates bids and offers for responsiveness to the particular solicitation and documents, the relative strengths and deficiencies of each proposal. Guide the SO team in best practices of 'best value' selection, and performance-based technical approaches. Obtains reports and references, ensuring that offeror’s past performance has been relevant and of a high quality.

•   Ensure that offerors have adequate management, accounting, personnel, and procurement systems, corporate leadership, available resources, and quality control to satisfactorily carry out contracts. Requests audit reports or pre-award surveys from the Office of the Inspector General, and other cognizant agencies.
Analyzes cost proposals and technical scores from the technical evaluation committee, and based
on this analysis, establishes the competitive range and presents documentation for signature to the Contracting Officer.

•   Perform extensive analysis on cost issues with consideration to economic conditions & factors of material, labor, and transportation costs. Closely examines cost and pricing data submitted by offerors to substantiate direct and indirect costs and profit. Determines reasonableness of costs submitted. Ensures that data provided is consistent with all USAID requirements on eligible geographic sources, and that salary structures are consistent with Agency policies. Identify circumstances that will require a waiver.

•   Coordinate issues of technical weakness and excessive costs with the SO team prior to the commencement of negotiations. Clarifies, and, as necessary, instructs the members of the SO team, host country counterparts, and other Mission staff on the USAID procurement process as implemented in the Agency.

•   Formulates the negotiation strategy, identifies areas subject to negotiation, and consults with technical specialists concerning data submitted by offerors. Conducts extensive negotiations on cost and technical issues prior to contract award, presenting USAID issues of concern and persuades offerors to upgrade technical deficiencies and reduce costs where appropriate. Requests submission of Revised Final Proposal and prepares appropriate contract or grant instruments for award. Coordinates last stages of selection with the technical evaluation team(s). Similarly, s/he negotiates and awards grants and cooperative agreements with U.S.-based and indigenous Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), colleges and universities and other non-profit organizations. Analyze transactions to ensure compliance with Agency cost-sharing and registration policies, as well as local laws governing status.

•   Presents award decision of ultimate contractor/recipient to the Contracting Officer with all the appropriate supporting documentation, including the development of appropriate performance indicators in conjunction with the SO team.

•   Organizes and conducts an orientation meeting with the selected contractor to ensure that mobilization efforts will be conducted efficiently and that all terms and conditions of procurement instruments are clear and well-understood by all parties. Provides support debriefing to unsuccessful offerors.

3. Monitoring Contractor Performance 10%

•   Monitors contractor performance in relation to the completion schedule required by the contract or assistance instrument. Ensure timely submission of technical progress reports, making periodic visits to the contractor’s work site and at all performance-related Team meetings held by the Mission. Ensures that the Contractor is fully compliant with the performance standards contained in the Contract and seeks corrective action in cases of non-compliance. Expedite Change Orders or revisions to the contract when circumstances require. Issues ‘show cause' or ‘cure notices’, and/or recommends termination of contracts for default or convenience and negotiates termination settlements.

5. Analysis & Resolution of Audit Reports Findings 5%

•   Analyzes and takes actions to resolve findings contained in audit reports, such as cost items questioned or unresolved. Support recommendations with detailed analysis of each cost, category or element as necessary. Prepare necessary documents to resolve all aspects of audits, questioned or ineligible costs, and accounting issues. Present documentation to the Contracting Officer for signature. Reviews completed (after full performance) official contract files to determine that all contractual actions are satisfied and that there are no pending administrative actions to be resolved. Ensure that all file documents are signed, that there are no litigation actions pending, and that the contract is complete in every respect and ready to be closed. Ensures that contracts nearing annual anniversaries or final completion have a performance report filled out by the Technical Officer, and submits the report to the Contractor for comment.

6. Host Country Contracting 10%

•   Maintains good knowledge of the policies, principles and procedures of Host Country Contracting (HCC) and may be assigned to review and recommend revisions to various HCC documents
implemented within the mission, such as tender documents, pre-qualification lists, etc., to ensure compliance with applicable policies and procedures.

7. Mentoring and Guidance 10%

•   As necessary, provides guidance and coach junior-level staff on the basic principles of Federal and USAID acquisition, general procurement management and procurement policy direction, new/changed procurement policies, etc.

8. Other Relevant Duties 20%

As a key member of the RCO, s/he provides information and advice to the Office Director on critical procurement issues, and attends key Mission meetings on behalf of the office as assigned. Perform other relevant duties as assigned.

•   Performs a range of acquisition and assistance tasks including managing the process for reporting/recipient’s performance; preparing correspondence related to contract/assistance closeout; initiating administrative close out; evaluating financial and technical data, invoices, past performance closeout information and submittals, property reports and disposition requests, and final reports; as well as analyzing and resolving audit findings related to award closeout.
•   Assists in maintaining necessary internal systems to ensure the status of acquisition and assistance instruments is kept current. Manages a system to ensure administrative close out of instruments is performed within prescribed Federal and USAID time standards. Manages a system to help RAAO ensure contractor performance reports and contractor/recipient property reports are performed when required.
•   Has prime responsibility for the administrative close out of all types of acquisition and assistance instruments administered by the RAAO. Provide final compliance reviews of terms and conditions on a wide range of contracting and assistance instruments to determine business and regulatory compliance in order to administratively close instruments. Reviews official files to ensure resolution of all administrative actions, to ensure contract is complete in every aspect and ready to close, and to obtain approval of all closeout documentation. This process often includes analysis of alternatives, adaptation, or modification of procedures, or resolution of incomplete or conflicting technical or contractor data.
•   Performs physical retirement and storage of officially closed and retired contract and assistance instrument files.
•   Develops and maintains a closeout tracking system database of physically closed instruments throughout the administrative close out process until files are retired.
•   Issues pre-completion notices and requests close out plans from contractors and recipients in advance of instrument completion dates.

Qualification Required & Experience

•   Education: University degree in business administration, accounting, marketing, economics, public administration, or other social science is required.
•   Prior Work Experience: A minimum of five to seven years of progressively responsible professional experience in procurement or, as appropriate, a closely related field is required.
•   Language Proficiency: Level IV English Language (fluent, speaking and writing) is required. Proficiency will be tested.
•   Job Knowledge: Demonstrate thorough knowledge of US Government (both FAR and AIDAR) contracting policies, rules, principles and procedures applicable to pre-award and/or post-award actions to procure and/or administer contracts and other instruments for a variety of complex technical services. Good Knowledge of the various performance-based fixed price and cost reimbursement award fee contracts, use of special incentives and provisions, and the unique regulatory requirements pertinent to diverse procurements, e.g. ADP, research & development, endowments, and technical services. Good knowledge of results-based assistance instruments (grants and cooperative agreements) and how these documents can help fulfill Mission objectives. Good knowledge of market conditions, the political context and social conditions impacting USAID procurement actions. Knowledge of the organizations interested in and capable of performing USAID contracts, grants, cooperative agreements, etc. Knowledge of the concerns from PVOs, NGOs, 8(a) firms, small businesses, and large businesses.
•   Skills and Abilities: Must have excellent negotiation skills to negotiate multi-year, multi-million dollar contracts and other instruments, excellent analytical skills and sound judgment to select appropriate acquisition or assistance instrument types, to evaluate bids or offers and determine the responsibility of contractors on the basis of competition, historical costs, reports, etc., and to conduct cost and price analysis. Must have excellent writing skills to draft various procurement-related documents and to develop sound solicitation and instrument documents, and excellent interpersonal skills to deal effectively with various officials, usually with highly divergent points of view, diplomatic and tactful in setting forth ideas, constraints, or courses of action.


1st year: developmental salary range (FSN - Grade-09) = GH¢35,270.00 - GH¢ 52,903.00 p.a,
2nd year: developmental salary range (FSN - Grade-10) = GH¢ 42,824.00 – GH¢ 64,241.00 p.a.
Full performance salary range (FSN Grade-11) = GH¢ 52,521.00 – GH¢ 78,634.00 p.a. (depending on qualification and experience)

Location: Accra

How To Apply For The Job

Interested individuals should submit cover letter, Curriculum Vitae with references and relevant certificates to:

Regional Executive Office
USAID/West Africa
P.O. Box 1630, Accra

Or by Email to:

[email protected]

Closing Date: 22 July, 2015

NOTE: When submitting your application via email, start the subject line with the position title (Acquisition Specialist)) Failure to state this and attach relevant certificates may disqualify applicant.


Only short-listed applicants will be contacted

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