Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs WATER RIGHTS SPECIALIST, GS-0301-9/11/12 in Portland, Oregon

Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
1 vacancy in the following location:
  • Portland, OR
Work Schedule is Full Time - Permanent

Opened Friday 10/14/2016 (11 day(s) ago)

** Closes Friday 10/28/2016 (3 day(s) away)

Job Overview

The Bureau of Indian Affairs is the lead agency for the United States in carrying on a government-to-government relationship with the tribal nations. A challenging and dynamic place to work, it enhances the quality of life, promotes economic opportunity, and carries out the responsibility to protect and improve the trust assets of American Indians, Indian tribes and Alaska Natives.

Vacancy Identification Number (VIN): 1826364

WATER RIGHTS SPECIALIST, GS-0301-9/11/12 POSN#4610007, DOI-Bureau of Indian Affairs Northwest Region, Regional Office

Deputy Regional Director-Trust Services

Division of Natural Resources Water Resources

Portland, Oregon

GS-09: $51,683 - $67,183 Per Annum GS-11: $62,531 - $81,290 Per Annum GS-12: $74,950 - $97,434 Per Annum

(First time hires to the Federal Government normally start at the lower salary range of the grade level).

INDIAN PREFERENCE:Preference in filling vacancies is given to qualified Indian candidates in accordance with the Indian Preference Act of 1934 (Title 25, USC, Section 472). Verification of Form BIA-4432 must be submitted with the application if claiming Indian Preference. Indian Preference eligibles that are not currently employed with the Federal service will be appointed under the Excepted Service Appointment Authority Schedule A, 213.3112(A)(7).

VETERANS EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES ACT (VEOA):Preference eligibles may apply for permanent positions (career or career-conditional appointments) under merit promotion procedures for VEOA appointments; however, veteran’s preference is not a factor in these appointments. To be eligible for a VEOA appointment, a veteran must be a preference eligible OR veteran separated after 3 or more years of continuous active service performed under honorable conditions. Applicants must submit a copy of their DD-214 for verification of eligibility. For more information, click here:

FORMER FEDERAL EMPLOYEES:Former Federal Employees are required to indicate whether they received a Voluntary Separation Incentive Payment (VSIP) buyout in their previous employment with the Federal government, and are required to submit a copy of the applicable Notification of Personnel Action (SF-50) regarding the VSIP. The majority of individuals, who accept reemployment with the Federal government within 5 years of receiving the VSIP amount, must repay the gross amount of the separation pay prior to reemployment.

Additional selections may be made from this announcement if identical vacancies occur within 90 days from the closing date.


NOTE: If the position is filled at a lower grade level, subsequent promotion to the next grade level will be processed without further competition under the Merit Promotion Program at such time as performance and qualification requirements are met and classification review discloses the duties being performed properly warrant classification to the next higher grade level.


Responsible for the investigation, analysis, and preparation of water rights cases, including litigation reports and position papers for the Bureau, Solicitor's office, tribes and their attorneys.

Serves as an authoritative expert in water rights and performs or directs the performance of a variety of tasks associated with the protection of Indian water rights and related trust resources.

Participates in negotiations involving highly complex legal and natural resource issues.

Accomplishes the review of Indian and non-Indian irrigation, municipal, industrial, flood control, recreational, and other water-related program to ascertain that Indian water rights are protected.

Assists Senior Water Rights Specialist in developing information and preparation of work plans and other management documents and reports.

Travel Required
  • Occasional Travel
  • May be required to travel to federal, state, and tribal offices to inspect field sites, attend meetings, conferences, or make court appearances.
Relocation Authorized
  • No
Job Requirements
Key Requirements

EXPERIENCE AND EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS:(OPM Operating Manual, Qualification Standards for Administrative and Management Positions, GS-0301).

GS-12:1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-11 grade level. Examples of specialized experience include, but are not limited to: working on Indian Water Rights adjudications; evaluating the biological, social, political and economic implications of water resource management; application of federal or state environmental laws related to water resources; conducting formal negotiations involving significant or controversial issues. These examples are not all inclusive.

GS-11: 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-9 grade level OR Ph.D. or equivalent doctoral degree OR 3 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR LL.M., if related. Examples of specialized experience are the same as in the GS-12 description above, with the specialized experience being performed under the general supervision of a Senior Water Rights staff member or equivalent.

GS-9: 1 year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-7 grade level OR Master's or equivalent graduate degree OR 2 full years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to such a degree OR LL.B. or J.D., if related. Examples of specialized experience, include, but are not limited to working with Indian tribes, individual landowners or tribal communities in water resources; assisting in negotiations involving significant issues; watershed management or hydrology. These examples are not all inclusive.

FOREIGN EDUCATION:If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript in order to receive credit for that education.

Qualifying education from colleges and universities in foreign countries must be evaluated in terms of equivalency to that acquired in U.S. colleges and universities. Applicants educated in whole or in part in foreign countries must submit sufficient evidence, including transcripts, to an accredited private organization for an equivalency evaluation of course work and degree. You must provide a copy of the letter containing the results of the equivalency evaluation upon request. Failure to provide such documentation when requested will result in lost consideration.

For more information regarding evaluation of foreign education for federal employment, please visit the U.S. Dept of Ed.

SUITABILITY, CLEARANCE & REQUIREMENTS:A background security investigation will be required for all new hires. Appointment will be subject to the applicant's successful completion of a background security investigation and favorable adjudication. Failure to successfully meet these requirements will be grounds for termination.

It is the policy of the Government not to deny employment simply because an individual has been unemployed or has had financial difficulties that have arisen through no fault of the individual. Information about an individual's employment experience will be used only to determine the person's qualifications and to assess his or her relative level of knowledge, skills, and abilities. Although an individual's personal conduct may be relevant in any employment decision, including conduct during periods of unemployment or evidence of dishonesty in handling financial matters, financial difficulty that has arisen through no fault of the individual will generally not itself be the basis of an unfavorable suitability or fitness determination. For more information please refer to the following link: Government Wide Guidance - Fair Employment Opportunities to Applicants

DECLARATION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT:As a Federal employee you will be required to submit a signed and completed "Declaration for Federal Employment," OF-306, to determine your suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background check for Federal employment.

OTHER:Incumbent is required, as an incidental duty, to operate a government-owned or leased motor vehicle, in the performance of duties, therefore, a valid driver's license is required. Incumbent must have a safe driving record within the three-year period immediately preceding submittal of GSA Form 3607 and be able to meet the safe driving requirements of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

TELEWORK:The Bureau of Indian Affairs has determined that the duties of the position are suitable for telework and the selectee may be allowed to telework with supervisor approval.

Due to the work involved under the jurisdiction of the Agency, incumbent may be assigned to temporary duty stations for extended periods.

Security Clearance

Q - Nonsensitive

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

Once the online questionnaire is received, you will receive an acknowledgement email notifying you that your submission was successful. After a review of your application is made, you will be notified regarding your rating and referral to the hiring official. If further evaluation or interviews are required, you will be contacted.


The Bureau of Indian Affairs offers a comprehensive benefits package. This link provides an overview of the benefits currently offered:

Other Information

CTAP & ICTAP APPLICANTS:Career Transition Assistance Program (CTAP) or Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) participants who are well qualified may apply for this position. To be eligible for consideration under CTAP, an applicant must provide written notification that they will be losing their current federal position. To be eligible for consideration under ICTAP, an applicant must provide proof that they have lost their federal position within the last year. To be well-qualified and exercise selection priority for this vacancy, displaced Federal employees must be rated at 85 or above on the rating criteria for this position. Federal employees seeking CTAP/ICTAP eligibility must submit proof that they meet the requirements of 5 CFR 330.605(a) for CTAP and 5 CFR 330.704 for ICTAP. This includes a copy of the agency notice, a copy of their most recent Performance Rating and a copy of their most recent SF-50 noting current position, grade level, and duty location. Please annotate your application to reflect that you are applying as a CTAP or ICTAP eligible. For more information regarding CTAP & ICTAP, please visit

NOTICE TO MALE APPLICANTS:Section 1622 of the Defense Authorization Act of 1986, prohibits any male born after December 31, 1959, from being appointed to a position in an executive agency if he has knowingly and willfully failed to register with the Selective Service System. Male applicants born after December 31, 1959, will be required to complete a certification document to confirm their Selective Service registration status, if selected for appointment.

Salary Range: $51,683.00 to $97,434.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: GS-0301-09/12

Promotion Potential: 12

Supervisory Status: No


Control Number: 453500200

Job Announcement Number: NW-17-07