A Contract Specialist within the U.S. Customs and Border Protection may provide a variety of support, procurement and administrative functions that are essential to the ongoing mission of the agency to protect the United States from foreign threats. These professionals field internal requests for weapons, vehicles, aircraft, and marine vessels that are critical in maintaining the country’s posture of readiness and response strategies to terrorists and criminals who may seek to harm the United States.
Procuring New Equipment and Technology
Contract Specialists research the latest technologies and products that are available and requisition them from governmental agencies or negotiate contracts for their purchase from private organizations. In the course of identifying potential manufacturers, Contract Specialists may shop a design to several production facilities and ask for the prices, technical specifications, maintenance schedules, and follow up service related to delivery of the finished product.
Contract Specialists utilize several techniques to elicit proposals from potential business partners. They may negotiate directly with a potential client, or they may compare the features of each proposal, eventually deciding on the one that is most conducive to the needs of the US CBP. Procurement officers may utilize information technology systems, expert opinions and field agent input in determining which products and proposals would be most effective.
In addition to equipment utilized by active field duty personnel, Contract Specialist jobs involve supervising the acquisition of materials and resources necessary for detainee compliance and removal, personnel transport, and detention management support, including the construction and outfitting of detention facilities.
CBP Contract Specialist Job Description
Contract Specialist jobs involve fulfilling the following professional functions:
- Solicit, initiate, manage and conclude purchase orders and contracts
- Acquire equipment and materials including furniture, ammunition, surveillance equipment, and telecommunications equipment
- Purchase and manage service contracts governing information systems, detention management services, financial management services, and guard services.
- Evaluate contract proposals and advise senior management about options, negotiating strategies and product research
- Engage in and manage contract negotiations
- Solicit designs and manufacturing specifications from potential contractors about potential products and equipment
- Assess the benefits and liabilities with contract proposals
- Formulate budgets based on projected funds allocation and agency objectives
- Maintain knowledge of all pertinent federal laws and regulations governing procurement practices
Salary and Job Benefits
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a CBP Contract specialist may join at a Grade Scale 9 or Grade Scale 11. The 2011 salary range for GS-9 is $41,563 to $54,028 annually. GS-11 professionals may earn from $50,287 up to $65,371 in annual salary. A professional who attains the position of Supervisory Contract Specialist at GS-13 may receive an annual salary from $86,575 to $112,564.
Contract Specialists are full-time employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection within the Department of Homeland Security and are provided with a suite of benefits available to all federal employees. This includes:
- Health Benefits—A variety of available health insurance plans are subsidized by the government.
- Dental and Vision—A voluntary program is available to employees who desire one.
- Life Insurance—Several life insurance options are available.
- Long Term Care Insurance—A medical evaluation is required to enroll in this program
- Flexible Spending Accounts—This supplemental medical expense program is available to those who desire it.
- Retirement Benefits—Several retirement plans with benefit options can be utilized after 25 to 30 years of active employment.
- Thrift Savings Plan—This is the federal government’s version of a 401k retirement program and is voluntary.
For more information about becoming a CBP contract specialist, click here.