Government Information Specialist

US Government, Department of Veterans Affairs

The facility Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) officer has oversight for the data governance program and initiatives related to the Freedom of Information Act in the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. The position makes unique facility level determinations about disclosures, access, use and dissemination of federal agency records. The position formulates policy, ensures compliance with federal and state laws and conducts thorough research of federal implementing regulations.

 

For more details on elgibility, requirements, and evaluation. Please click “Apply Now”, which will take you to the US Gov job platform.

 

Job Grade: 11
Total Openings:

Duties:

Major Duties: Develops a local FOIA strategy that creates a unique program, including diverse processes and specific policies independent of other facilities. Integrates the Cincinnati VA Medical Center with data governance program goals, national strategic priorities, and VA core values. Makes decisions for data disclosure; initiates independent investigations; conducts compliance activities; and implements physical, technical, and administrative safeguards across the facility. Additionally, the FOIA Officer will interact with external stakeholders to include Veterans Service Organizations (VSOs), Congressional Representatives, internal and external partners, community leaders, attorneys, news media, affiliate universities, and commercial entities in the local public with regards to the protection, release, and transparency of information within the facility. Develops and executes strategic management initiatives that establish areas of control for information within the facility; interfaces with all business operations across service line/departments. Creates unique written policies that define enterprise privacy principles, guidance, and practices that influence the data governance model for the organization. Strengthens and sustains the operational life cycle of the FOIA program by developing a communication strategy that fosters awareness for both internal and external partners to improve compliance, provide training, and engage the public; exerts influence on senior leaders within the facility to adopt data governance into their business planning and daily operations. Provides subject matter expertise directly and independently to leadership, local and facility law enforcement, Office of Chief Counsel, VHA Central Office, and VISN leadership regarding data governance. Represents the agency authoritatively to key officials and organizations both within and outside the VA. Resolves major issues and concerns with regards to data governance in the absence of VHA program office or Office of General Counsel (OGC) oversight. Coordinates with VHA FOIA Office when required. Routinely makes independent key decisions that can have serious implications for the agency in the absence of situational guidance. Determines whether a FOIA request is Traditional, FOIA Privacy Act (PA), or Substantial Interest. Using an expert understanding of all applicable laws, regulations, and guidelines, independently analyzes all of the interrelated issues that affect the FOIA program. Plans and conducts monitoring activities which measure the overall level of operational compliance by the facility. With only general and broad guidance, the Officer must possess vast knowledge of the varying policies and work processes throughout the facility. The monitoring activities are uniquely detailed, comprehensive, and must be tailored to meet the processes of the Cincinnati VA Medical Center. Monitoring covers all aspects of the collection, use, dissemination, disclosure, and destruction of information within the facility. Based on the results of monitoring activities, the Officer provides recommendations for improvements to senior leadership, which minimizes risk of litigation exposure to the agency. Develops and integrates policy-based processes, roles, and controls that influence how data is created, collected, used, stored, and destroyed throughout the organization. Classifies and addresses issues stemming from conflict of regulations and laws and differences in compliance with facility business practices. Assists the Privacy Officer as acting Privacy Officer/Alternate with documentation preparation, to include processing complaints and performing investigation of allegations of illegal or improper activities related to the handling or release of privacy-protected information. Investigates data breaches, promotes labor partner collaboration when required, and recommends appropriate remediation. Researches, assembles, analyzes, evaluates, and responds to all facility FOIA requests for agency information. Maintains FOIA records responsive to the requester. Reviews and analyzes appeals from denials of access to records requested under FOIA and recommends final agency decision on release/non-release of records. Work Schedule: Monday – Friday, 8:00am – 4:30pm
Telework: Not Available
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Government Information Specialist/PD914500
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not Authorized
Permanent Change of Station (PCS): Not Authorized
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required

Qualifications:

To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement, 09/18/2022. Time-In-Grade Requirement: Applicants who are current Federal employees and have held a GS grade any time in the past 52 weeks must also meet time-in-grade requirements by the closing date of this announcement. For a GS-11 position you must have served 52 weeks at the GS-9. The grade may have been in any occupation, but must have been held in the Federal service. An SF-50 that shows your time-in-grade eligibility must be submitted with your application materials. If the most recent SF-50 has an effective date within the past year, it may not clearly demonstrate you possess one-year time-in-grade, as required by the announcement. In this instance, you must provide an additional SF-50 that clearly demonstrates one-year time-in-grade. You may qualify based on your experience and/or education as described below: Specialized Experience: You must have one year of specialized experience equivalent to at least the next lower grade GS-9 in the normal line of progression for the occupation in the organization. Examples of specialized experience would typically include, but are not limited to: Receiving, coordinating, responding to, and tracking FOIA requests; investigating privacy breaches; performing privacy audits and/or redaction of privacy documents to meet regulations and statutes that impact the privacy and FOIA programs; implementing and enforcing regulations, policies, and procedures; knowledge of administrative and facility programs and organization in response to requests for release of information, complaints, and allegations of improper conduct; effective oral and written communication skills to explain Privacy/FOIA requirements and procedures to management and staff; Defend findings and recommendations to management, prepare written responses, reports, and information materials for a variety of audiences. Note: Must be demonstrated in your resume. OR, Education: Applicants may substitute education for the required experience. To qualify based on education for this grade level you must have successfully completed a Ph.D. or equivalent graduate degree, 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree or LL.M., if related, that give your the knowledge, skills and ability to do the work of the position. Note: Transcripts required. OR, Combination: Applicants may also combine education and experience to qualify at this level. Combined experience is determined as 6 months of specialized experience equivalent to GS-9 and beyond 2 1/2 year of graduate level education. Note: Must be demonstrated in your resume and transcripts are required. 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; religions; 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. Note: A full year of work is considered to be 35-40 hours of work per week. Part-time experience will be credited on the basis of time actually spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate clearly the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment. Physical Requirements: The work is primarily sedentary. There will be episodes of moderate lifting or prolonged periods of standing and bending searching various files. There is lifting and carrying of such items as record boxes and bulky files. The work involves considerable walking, standing and bending conducting rounds auditing and providing training to both on-site and off-site personnel. There is also occasional lifting and carrying of such items of box files weighing up to 30 pounds. For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management’s website at https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/classification-qualifications/general-schedule-qualification-standards/.

Job Requirements:

You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959 You may be required to serve a probationary period Subject to background/security investigation Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process Participation in the seasonal influenza vaccination program is a requirement for all Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Personnel (HCP) Participation in the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccination program is a requirement for all Veterans Health Administration Health Care Personnel (HCP) – See “Additional Information” below for details.

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