Foreign Service General Services Officer

  • U.S. Department of State
  • Washington, DC, USA
  • Jan 16, 2020
Full time General Business Government Inventory Logistics Purchasing-Procurement

Job Description

United States Department of State
An Equal Opportunity Employer

Announcement No: GSO-2020-0002
Position Title: Foreign Service General Services Officer
Open Period: January 8, 2020 – January 28, 2020
Series/Grade: FP – 1640 – 04
Salary: $70,009 – $111,493
Promotion Potential: OC
Duty Locations: Department of State Posts – Overseas and Domestic, United States – MANY vacancies
Work Schedule: Full-time
Position Information: Permanent after tenure granted by a Foreign Service Specialist (FSS) Tenure Board.

Who May Apply

Must be a U.S. citizen. Potential applicants should read the entire announcement to ensure that they meet all of the requirements and understand a Foreign Service career. Applicants may not reapply for one year after the previous application for the same position. If a State Department Suitability Review Panel denied suitability in the last two years, you may not apply (except Diplomatic Security Special Agent (SA) candidates whose denial was based solely on the unique requirements for SAs).

Security Clearance

Top Secret

Supervisory Status


Job Summary

The U.S. Department of State is hiring General Services Officer (GSO). The salary listed is from the FS Overseas Comparability Payscale ($70,009) plus D.C. Locality Payscale ($111,493). Refer to the Benefits section for more information on recruitment and retention incentives. To learn more about the Department of State and a career as a Foreign Service Specialist, please visit us at

This is a 2301 Foreign Service position equivalent to the 1640 Civil Service series.


The primary responsibilities of a Foreign Service General Services Officer (GSO) include the management of physical resources and logistical functions at United States embassies and consulates, where they serve not only the Department of State but also other U.S. Government agencies. GSOs are responsible for the overall management of acquisition and supply chain operations (or some portion of these operations), the supervision of subordinate staff, and the actual performance of some or all of the following functions:

Procurement Services

  • Identifies procurement support needs and conducts procurement planning.
  • Manages procurement of goods and services for post, responsible for the accuracy and completeness of procurement documents and official records; prepares budget requests; and monitors vendor performance and costs.
  • Serves as post contracting officer and manages contracts.
  • Coordinates contracting at post, with State Department offices and other USG agencies.

Warehouse Operations Services

  • Determines warehousing needs.
  • Responsible for warehouse and inventory management.
  • Manages warehouse space.

Administrative Supply Services

Shipping and Customs Services

  • Manages official and personal effects shipments.
  • Obtains diplomatic customs clearances and serves as liaison with host-country customs officials.
  • Advises post management, other USG agencies, and the Department concerning diplomatic import-export regulations.

Motor Pool and Vehicle Maintenance Services

  • Manages vehicle fleets.

Leasing Services

  • Identifies and manages real property requirements.
  • Negotiates commercial and residential leases.
  • Coordinates with landlord on maintenance and other issues related to leased property.
  • Manages property utilization policies.

Travel Services

  • Manages travel and transportation programs for in-country and international official travel.

Supervision of Staff

  • Supervises and manages U.S. personnel and Locally Employed Staff in the GSO section.
  • Promotes staff development through training, counseling, and performance evaluation.
  • Identifies and develops staffing requirements to meet the needs of the GSO section at post.

Safeguard Against Waste, Fraud & Mismanagement

  • Maintains internal controls.
  • Manages USG purchase cards programs.

Travel Required

Occasional travel – A Foreign Service Specialist generally spends the majority of his/her career assigned to the Department of State’s overseas missions and at times, lives away from family and/or in difficult or isolated conditions. Selected applicants will be notified of an Oral Assessment (OA) requirement in Washington D.C. For the selected applicants, all travel and other expenses incurred in connection with the OA are the sole responsibility of the applicant.

Conditions of Employment

  • Be a U.S. citizen and available for worldwide service.
  • Be able to obtain a Top Secret Security Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain an appropriate Foreign Service Medical Clearance.
  • Be able to obtain a favorable Suitability Review Panel determination.*
  • Be at least 20 years old and at least 21 years old to be appointed.
  • Be appointed prior to age 60 (preference eligible veterans excepted).**

Foreign Service General Services Officers (GSO) are responsible for a broad range of functions including the management of physical resources and logistics at U.S. government (USG) diplomatic and consular posts worldwide and in the United States. GSOs develop, plan, implement, and manage ongoing support programs including contracting, warehousing, and inventory of property and supplies, shipping and customs, motor pool, housing, travel, and VIP official visitor support. At some locations, GSOs are responsible for physical facilities and space management.

Areas of responsibility include:

  • Procurement Services
  • Warehouse Operations Services
  • Administrative Supply Services
  • Shipping and Customs Services
  • Motor Pool and Vehicle Maintenance Services
  • Leasing Services
  • Travel Services

Relocation expenses reimbursed

Yes After completing orientation and initial training in Washington, D.C., a Foreign Service Specialist usually is assigned to two consecutive overseas tours, each two years in length, directed by the Department. After the initial two tours, assignments will be for periods of one to three years overseas or in the United States.


General AND Specialized Experience

General Experience is work at the professional, technical, or administrative level, which has been progressively more responsible in nature. General Experience includes:

  • Obtaining and providing a variety of services to an organization,
  • Managing a multifaceted operation,
  • Supervising a multidisciplinary workforce, or
  • Other similar work.

Specialized Experience demonstrates that the applicant has acquired, and is able to apply, a combination of specific knowledge, skills and abilities appropriate to a GSO position. All qualifying Specialized Experience must demonstrate that their job-related experience has been at progressively increasing levels of performance and responsibility through such indicators as promotions, raises, increases in duties and responsibilities, and organizational and employee impact.

To qualify as Specialized Experience, 60% or more of the duties must include experience in three or more of the general areas listed below:

  • Procurement practices and procedures.
  • Negotiating contracts.
  • Supervision of contractual services for utilities and equipment.
  • Responsibility for scheduling large shipments of domestic or overseas freight, and managing customs clearances.
  • Supervision of inventory of supplies and equipment.
  • Supervision of motor pool operations, including management, and servicing of vehicles.
  • Negotiating for the purchase and leasing of real property.
  • Managing a pool of housing, developing space assignments, and maintaining individual units.
  • Managing an employee travel program encompassing a wide variety of types of travel and destinations.

In addition to meeting the requirements above, applicants must possess excellent interpersonal and communication skills and strong customer service orientation.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA)

Education, work experience, and other qualifications evaluated for evidence of the following knowledge, skills, abilities and other requirements have been identified as important to successful job performance as a General Services Officer based on extensive job analysis research. Not all of these attributes need to be met by an applicant; the attributes will be used as a set to evaluate applicants.

Knowledge of Procurement and Contracting including procurement and contracting regulations and procedures, and working to oversee or actively manage procurement and contracting requirements in a professional environment.

Knowledge of Finance and Accounting including basic financial and accounting principles in order to act as a post contracting officer and to ensure budgeting of monetary resources for the General Services section are handled correctly.

Knowledge of Construction Maintenance and Repair functions in order to work effectively with and to oversee the work of skilled specialists and contractors, to understand the dimensions of the work needed and the resultant demands.

Knowledge of Property Management and Warehousing at a supervisory level in order to oversee procedures and processes involving equipment and office supplies receipt and issuance, warehousing, inventory, and disposal of goods.

Knowledge of Transportation of Materials including export, import or customs regulations, and the transportation of materials across borders to move material efficiently and legally.

Knowledge of Motor Vehicle Operations including basic motor vehicle operation, maintenance and repair requirements, and procedures at a level sufficient to effectively communicate with and to oversee the work of the professional motor vehicle specialists and contractors employed in a motor pool.

Knowledge of Travel Regulations and the ability to interpret and explain travel regulations and policy to customers

Knowledge of Human Resources Practices including supervision, assignment, and performance monitoring to counsel U.S. and Locally Employed Staff on job performance at a level sufficient to identify possibilities and problems, and to discuss solutions for personnel issues.

Skill in Analyzing Complex, Abstract Written Information including written material such as contracts, deeds, leases, and other legal documents so as to understand proposals, to perform successfully the contract management duty and, if needed, to advise others about contracts.

Skill in Leading a Diverse Workforce including leading, coordinating, motivating, and directing a diverse, sometimes large, usually multinational, group of people with a variety of skills as they work, and identifying the best people for a job, so that the work is accomplished in the most efficient fashion.

Skill in Time and Project Management including identifying resources, anticipating challenges, establishing milestones, defining beginning and end states, so as to efficiently and knowledgeably accomplish projects.

Skill with Computers using computer software programs including word processing, managing files/records/databases, and office computer programs such as Outlook, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and SharePoint.

Superior Oral and Written Communication skills: Applicants must demonstrate a strong command of the English language to include grammar, spelling and punctuation. Foreign Service Specialists must consistently meet a high standard for English, both written (overall structure as well as grammar, spelling and punctuation) and spoken (overall structure as well as delivery, clarity and succinctness).


At the time of application, applicants must have one of the following:

  1. High school diploma or equivalent or an undergraduate degree or higher in any major and a minimum of three years of General Experience and three years of Specialized Experience in the last ten years; or
  2. Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in one of the following:
    • Public Administration
    • Business Administration
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Industrial Management

    and three years of Specialized Experience in the last ten years; or

  3. Master’s degree from an accredited college or university in one of the following:
    • Public Administration
    • Business Administration
    • Industrial Engineering
    • Industrial Management

    and two years of Specialized Experience in the last ten years.

Substitution of Education for Specialized Experience: graduate courses may be substituted for Specialized Experience at the rate of six months for each full-time year of study in Public Administration, Business Administration, Industrial Engineering, or Industrial Management.

You must submit a copy of your high school diploma or equivalency certificate, or your university transcript(s) with your application. If you do not submit this documentation to demonstrate your educational achievements, you will not be given credit and your candidacy will not be continued.

Official or unofficial transcripts may be submitted with your application. Your transcript must include your name, the school’s name, the degree and date awarded and have no missing pages. A transcript missing any of these elements will not pass the minimum qualifications and the candidacy will be ended. Copies of diplomas may NOT be submitted in lieu of transcripts for education above high school level.

Education from a program or institution within the United States must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education,, in order to be credited towards qualifications or your candidacy will not be continued.

Education completed in foreign high schools, colleges, or universities may be used to meet the education requirements if you can show that the foreign education is comparable to that received in an accredited educational institution in the United States. It is your responsibility to provide such evidence when applying. Only accredited organizations recognized as specializing in the interpretation of foreign education credentials that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) or the Association of International Credential Evaluators, Inc. (AICE) are accepted. If documentation from an accredited organization is not provided, your candidacy will not be continued.

For further information on the evaluation of foreign education, please refer to the Office of Personnel Management and the U.S. Department of Education. The U.S. Department of State neither endorses nor recommends any individual evaluation service.

Additional information

*EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION PROGRAM (E-Verify) – Verification of employment eligibility in the United States is required.

U.S. law requires companies to employ only individuals who may legally work in the United States – either U.S. citizens, or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. This agency utilizes E-Verify to compare information from the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, to data from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) records to confirm employment eligibility. If the employee’s information does not match DHS and/or SSA records, the employee is given an opportunity to resolve the problem. If eligibility cannot be verified, employment will be terminated.

**The Department of State Suitability Review Panel and standards are defined in Chapter 3 of the Foreign Affairs Manual. For more information please visit:

***For more information about Veteran’s Preference and how it is applied in the FSS Selection Process, please visit:

No applicant will be considered who has previously been separated from the Foreign Service under sections §607, §608, §610 or §611 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu of separation under these provisions. In addition, no applicant will be considered who has previously been separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section §306 of the Foreign Service Act of 1980, as amended, or who resigned or retired in lieu thereof.

An FSS separated for failure to receive a career appointment under section 306 may not re-apply to be an FSS in the same skill code, but may apply for another skill code (or to be a Foreign Service Generalist).

Executive Branch agencies are barred by 5 US Code 3303 as amended from accepting or considering prohibited political recommendations and are required to return any prohibited political recommendations to sender. In addition, as mandated by 5 US Code 3110, relatives of federal employees cannot be granted preference in competing for these employment opportunities.

It is the policy of the Federal Government to treat all of its employees with dignity and respect and to provide a workplace that is free from discrimination whether discrimination is based on race, color, religion, sex (including gender identity or pregnancy), national origin, disability, political affiliation, marital status, membership in an employee organization, age, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors.

The Department of State provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodations for any part of the application or hiring process should so advise the Department at, within one week of receiving their invitation to the oral assessment. Decisions for granting reasonable accommodations are made on a case-by-case basis.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

Applicants will be evaluated on their total background including experience, education, awards, training, and self-development as it relates to the position. Selection for this position will be made only from among candidates possessing the best qualifications. Part-time work experience will be prorated.

To preview questions please click here.

Required Documents

It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure all required documents are uploaded and the application is fully completed before the closing deadline of this announcement. Any missing required documents or incomplete applications will result in the application not being considered further. There are no exceptions.

  1. USAJobs Resume Builder is the only resume format that is accepted for this Vacancy Announcement.
  2. Completed online application including the completed required Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest narratives in the online application.
  3. Uploaded/faxed all required supporting documentation including proof of educational achievements, certifications, professional licenses, or completed forms as required in this Vacancy Announcement to qualify for this position.
  4. For applicants who are age 60 to 65, you must provide your Veteran’s Preference documentation at the time of your application. If claiming a 5 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit a copy of your DD-214 or Certification of service. If claiming a 10 pt. veteran’s preference, you must submit your VA letter and SF-15, in addition to your DD-214 or Certification of service. A Certification must be from the armed forces that certifies the service member is expected to be discharged or released from active duty under honorable conditions within 120 days after the Certification is submitted by the applicant and should include military service dates, date of expected discharge or release, and character of service and disability rating, if applicable.

Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest

These required questions provide an opportunity to describe examples and accomplishments from your education, life, and/or, work experience that demonstrate your qualifications for becoming a Foreign Service Specialist. Examples can be drawn from any part of your professional or personal experience. The information you give may be used in your oral assessment should you be invited and is an important factor in the competitive evaluation of applicants. Each response is limited to 300 words or fewer (maximum length 2,000 characters) for each item. You should compose your replies carefully, as one of the skills necessary to succeed as a Foreign Service Specialist is the ability to write clearly and concisely. Answers to all of the items in the Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest are required and must be completed in the online application or the candidacy will not be continued.

Substantive Knowledge: Describe your skills, knowledge and experience that are applicable to performing the work described in this Vacancy Announcement including experience in supervision and performance management of subordinate staff.

Intellectual Skills: Describe an example of when you used such skills to respond to unanticipated circumstances to solve a problem.

Interpersonal Skills: Describe how you have used your interpersonal skills in a specific situation to resolve a problem or achieve a goal.

Communication Skills: Describe a situation in which you used your communication skills, including foreign language skills if appropriate, to further an aim or achieve a goal.

Management Skills: Describe a project you managed or helped to manage, and how you planned and organized, set priorities and allocated time and resources to achieve the project’s goals.

Statement of Interest

Required narrative Statement of Interest which discusses your:

  • Motivation for joining the Foreign Service,
  • Comments about your work experience, include special skills (e.g. computer), current licenses, honors, awards, special accomplishments, and/or training (with date completed) relating to this position,
  • Experience living or working in a multicultural environment, overseas or in U.S.


A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Health and medical coverage, federal retirement benefits, paid leave, a chance to see the world and experience different cultures. Overseas benefits include tax-free housing and tax-free education allowance for dependent children between K-12 overseas.

For information on FS Salary, please visit

Review our benefits

How to Apply

You should submit your application early, not waiting for the deadline, as application packages must be complete, submitted, and received by the closing date/time to be considered. There are no exceptions.

  1. From this Vacancy Announcement, click on “Apply.” Go to the USAJobs Log In screen and log into your USAJobs account or follow the link and instructions to create an account.
  2. Follow the USAJobs Application Process and provide your required USAJobs federal online resume. USAJobs will transfer you to the State Department online application site, Monster Government Service (MGS). Follow the instructions and answer the online questions. Your Accomplishments Questionnaire and Statement of Interest responses must be completed in the online application. You may save your work and can return to the application from USAJobs at any time prior to the deadline.
  3. The application system allows up to four methods to submit required documentation: Transfer documents from a USAJOBS portfolio; upload documents from your computer; resubmit documents from a previous application; or fax. If you are submitting documents by fax, you must follow the fax directions, and generate and use the fax coversheets for your set(s) of documents.
  4. After you attach all of your required supporting documentation, answer all the required application questions, and complete the application steps, please review the entire application packet, including the links for your submitted documents.
  5. Confirm and submit your application package, which will be used to evaluate your qualifications for this position.

Application Submission Deadline: 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement to complete the application process and successfully submit any documentation required in this Vacancy Announcement.

Application packages must be complete and received by the closing date to be considered. There are no exceptions.

You should submit your application early, and may make changes as often as needed, up until the closing date of the announcement. We strongly recommended that you go back into your application and verify that your documents are attached.

If you are having technical difficulty with the application process, please contact the Monster Help Desk by calling 1-866-656-6830 or by emailing The Monster Help Desk is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time.

For more information on the FSS hiring processes, please visit our FAQs at If you have any questions regarding FS careers, please visit our Careers.State.Gov site and post your question(s) on the appropriate Forum in the Connect section:

Next steps

Once submitted, your application status on USAJobs will change from “received” to “referred” or “not referred” after the close of the announcement. This status on USAJobs will not be updated further.

Additional notifications to applicants concerning the application status will be by e-mail from the U.S. Department of State.

Due to the high volume of applications, we ask all applicants to remain patient and await communication. It is not uncommon for several months to pass before you are informed of the result of your application.

We recommend adding the Department of State domain ( as an approved sender.

For more information, please visit