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Job Title:
Administrative Specialist, GS-0301, Grade 11; $70,234 to $91,301 annually
Type of Position:
Federal- Career/CareerConditional
Job Location:
Amado, Arizona
Posting Opening Date:
Posting Closing Date:

AREA OF CONSIDERATION:  This Merit Promotion position is open to Current Federal Employees and Former Federal Employees with permanent status or reinstatement eligibility. Individuals who are eligible for a special appointing authority may also apply such as Individuals with Disabilities (Schedule A), former Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and Vista volunteers; certain Military Spouses, or individuals eligible under various programs for Veterans (VRA, VEOA, 30% disabled).


This is the position of Administrative Specialist with the Fred L. Whipple Observatory in Amado, AZ.  The purpose of this position is to provide financial, procurement management, and administrative oversight to all of the activities of FLWO—scientific, educational, and public outreach.


  1. Provides financial management and analysis to FLWO as follows:
  • Monitors obligations and expenditures of all FLWO operating funds including SAO Federal and Trust allocations, revenue-generating activities, and SI maintenance/repair funds. Reconciles local accounts with SAO ERP system financial and works with SAO FMD staff to correct errors when found. 
  • Oversees cash handing for donations and store sales, and income from dorm/tour payments. Manages local checking account.
  • Develops FLWO’s portion of the annual Federal budget submission and works with the Public Information Officer to develop revenue/expense projections for tours, events, memberships, and donations.
  • Periodically reconciles maintenance/repair fund discrepancies with the SI OPDC and/or SAO FM staff.
  • Generates and distributes monthly internal financial reports on all funds.
  • Periodically surveys Project Heads, supervisors, and the Public Information Officer to determine their projected needs both for budget and procurement management.
  1. Consistent with delegated purchasing authority, procures a wide variety of technical materials and services including maintenance and automotive supplies, electronic and optical equipment components, computer systems and accessories, maintenance and repair services and educational/public outreach supplies and services. Develops specifications for bid requests for services. Analyzes recurring procurements for potential cost savings. Ensures adherence to Federal Acquisition Regulations, makes decisions on price reasonableness, negotiates delivery dates and expedites orders, receives items and verifies shipments, and vouchers invoices and tracks payments.  
  2. Coordinates FLWO property management. This includes managing the inventory of property and  ensuring that all tagging requirements are met; maintaining an automated system to track property inventory;  conducting periodic inventory reviews; processing excess FLWO property for disposal;   serving as liaison to other agency officials and the public for the distribution of property being excessed by FLWO; working with science, technical, and operations staff to identify Observatory needs that could be met with Federal excess property in ways that would be cost effective for FLWO and MMTO; screening available property, coordinating with cognizant SI/SAO staff to place holds,  processing required documentation; and arranging for transfer and shipping to FLWO. 
  3. Supports FLWO Education/Public Outreach activities: Manages Volunteer application process and provides specialized training as requested; provides backup coverage for Welcome Desk; assists PIO with public events, grant applications and donations; and assists with Visitor Center store management, including inventory control.
  4. Provides overall administrative support to FLWO in human resources, travel, the safety program, motor pool fleet maintenance, and construction contract administration. Coordinates credentialing of new staff and volunteers through SI; obtains, prepares, and submits required documentation for contracts managed through SI/OCON; and serves as an information source on all administrative policies and practices.
  5. Participates in both short and long-range planning with the OIR Division Administrator, FLWO Site Director, and cognizant SI OPDC Program and Design managers.  Provides analyses, projections, and recommendations pertaining to project and activity costs, as requested.


Minimum of one year specialized experience (Federal or otherwise) equivalent to at least grade 9 that is close or similar to the work of this position.  Specialized experience would include activities such as Federal procurement,  property management, financial administration, and general administrative support to a complex facility.


Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree.


3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree.


a combination of education and experience.

For information on qualification requirements, see Qualification Standards Handbook for General Schedule Positions viewable on the web at

Part-time and/or unpaid experience related to this position will be considered to determine the total number of years and months of experience. Be sure to note the number of paid or unpaid hours worked each week.

Important Note:

Your resume and supporting documentation will be compared to your responses to the occupational questionnaire or other assessment tool for consistency. If a determination is made that you have rated yourself higher than is supported by your resume, you will be assigned a rating commensurate to your described experience. Your resume should provide sufficient information regarding how your education and experience relate to this position, including the major duties and qualifications criteria listed.

For the latest information on the COVID-19 vaccination requirements and its impact on your application, click on Smithsonian Institution’s Frequently Asked Questions.  


APPLICATION PROCEDURE We will only accept applications on line for this position.  For complete information about this position and the online application procedures, please visit USAJOBS


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