Administrative Assistant (OA)

Administrative Assistant (OA)


This position is located in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The employee provides administrative support and office management services for the assigned office and subordinate teams and/or staff.


Administrative Support
1. Performs a variety of administrative duties involving preparation of a wide variety of forms, requests, and reports; communication and coordination with various administrative management divisions (e.g., Human Resources, Management Services, etc.) within the Agency; and, maintenance of control and tracking mechanisms to ensure timely delivery of services. Tasks include preparation of personnel requests, training forms, new employee forms, time and attendance reports, supply and equipment requisitions and inventory reports, and other logistical and management services requests and any associated justifications and/or reports as necessary. Conducts process reviews of administrative work tasks to
ensure efficiency and effectiveness.

2. Makes arrangements for domestic, international, and/or invitational travel. Coordinates schedules of visits, transportation and hotel reservations. As necessary, keeps in contact with the supervisor en route and submits travel vouchers upon completion of trip.

3. Makes arrangements for meetings and conferences; including gathering background materials, and notifying participants.

Records and File Management
4. Manages files and records: establishes and maintains office records, procedures, reference materials and technical subject matter files and is responsible for records disposal and disposition. Stays abreast of new and revised Agency and/or Departmental records management policies and procedures, including those for classified materials, and circulates such material concerning procedural changes and policy matters that affect program operations. Ensures the confidentiality of personnel and other confidential records as appropriate.

5. Searches for, locates, assembles and summarizes material from the files or other sources for use by management in solving problems, for use in meetings and conferences, in replying to requests for information, in preparation of reports, and the development, and in coordination and general administration of office functions.

Office Management

6. Relieves the supervisor and/or subordinate team leaders of as many details as possible by referring phone calls, visitors and mail to the appropriate employee or disposing of them personally, bringing to the supervisor’s attention only matters requiring personal attention or which are of major importance. Follows up on suspense items and project deadlines.

7. Receives, reviews and distributes incoming correspondence requiring technical consideration(s) by the supervisor and/or staff member based upon content and knowledge of program functions and staff assignments. Independently or based on brief oral instructions, drafts a variety of non-technical correspondence. Reviews outgoing correspondence for clarity, procedural and grammatical accuracy and conformance to
policy. When necessary, tactfully returns correspondence to writers explaining the nature of the discrepancy or makes the correction independently. Takes necessary action to ensure that reports and replies are completed on schedule.

Office Automation
8. Uses various office automation hardware and software to prepare memoranda, letters and reports in fmal form or in rough draft as requested by originators. Works independently in accordance with a variety of standard procedures to create, edit, store, retrieve, transmit and print a variety of standard and nonstandard documents. Keeps abreast of changing hardware/software advancements.

9. Provides a variety of assistance and guidance to subordinate support staff.


Factor 1: Knowledge Required by the Position

Detailed knowledge of various administrative policies and procedures to prepare correspondence, request personnel services and training, arrange travel, prepare and maintain leave records, requisition office supplies, and maintain subject matter records and files.

General knowledge of the mission and functions ofthe office as related to the administrative support functions to ensure adequate administrative support and thus facilitate the timely completion of work assignments by office personnel.
Knowledge of the functions of other offices within FHWA and the Department of Transportation. Knowledge of proper grammar, spelling, punctuation, correspondence procedures and required
formats sufficient to recognize and correct errors in correspondence and reports.

Skill in operating a word processor and/or personal computer with standard keyboard and function keys and associated peripherals, including printers and disk drives. Uses this skill to produce
work accurately and efficiently. A fully qualified typist with knowledge of relevant office
automation systems is required. Factor 2: Supervisory Controls

Performs the major portion of tasks on the basis of own initiative and judgment. Guidance furnished by the supervisor is confmed for the most part to methods of approach on new and complex problems and tasks. Work performed is accomplished on the basis on knowledge acquired by the employee of the programs and objectives of the organization, office policies and procedures, applicable regulations and guidelines, and the supervisor’s view concerning administrative matters and work operations. The employee’s contact work is reviewed for presentation, coverage and compliance with basic office policies and procedures. The overall effectiveness of the work is reviewed primarily to ensure office efficiency and effectiveness.

Factor 3: Guidelines

Guidelines typically include dictionaries; style manuals; Agency directives concerning matters such as correspondence, the handling of classified materials, requests for personnel services and training, time and attendance records, records maintenance and various regulations; and unwritten operating policies and practices of the office and the Agency. The employee is required to interpret and adapt guidelines in order to resolve administrative operating problems, and to provide instructions and assistance to other support employees.

Factor 4: Complexity

The employee must possess a good working knowledge of the basic program functions of the office and general knowledge of key action items and activities of other organizations of the Agency as they affect the work of the office.

The employee performs a full range of administrative support functions. As such, the work involves many different and unrelated processes and methods and planning for the delivery of services. Decisions regarding what needs to be done and actions to be taken generally involve choosing among established alternatives, but many also include the assessment of unusual circumstances, variations in approach, and incomplete or conflicting data. Decisions are based on knowledge of the assignments, assessment of data and any unusual circumstances, procedural requirements, and the functions of the office.

Factor 5: Scope and Effect

The employee relieves the supervisor of matters not requiring his/her attention. The services provided by the employee affect the adequacy of the work environment and operations and thus contribute to successful mission accomplishment. Employee handles numerous contacts with other FHWA offices on behalf of the supervisor concerning requests for service, and advice and assistance, thus impacting the relationship of the office with other organizations. Employee’s contact work with external entities and the public could impact public/external opinion of the Agency.

Factor 6: Personal Contacts

Personal contacts are with employees of the immediate office, office managers and/or team leadersand staff specialists at higher echelons. Employee also may interact with other Federal
and non-Federal agencies, Congressional offices, and the general public, who deal with the office on a broad range of matters.

Factor 7: Purpose of Contacts

The purpose of the contacts is to plan, coordinate or advise on administrative services, to exchange information, or to resolve operating problems. This includes ensuring that reports and responses
to correspondence are submitted by staff members on time and in the proper format, and making domestic and/or international travel arrangements and scheduling conferences.

Factor 8: Physical Demands

The work is primarily sedentary in nature. However, there is a moderate level of bending, lifting/carrying of light office items (e.g., manuals, folders, etc.)

Factor 9: Work Environment

The work is performed in an office setting.

Sections A-Care the basis for the classification of this position. The competency section is included to provide information on the relationship of Professional/Discipline, Corporate, and Leadership competencies to the position and does not directly impact the title, series, or grade. Proficiency level designations are based on the FHWA 5-point scale as follows: 1=Awareness; 2=Basic;
3=Intermediate; 4=Advanced; and 5=Expert. The default proficiency levels are listed below. Managers may need to make adjustments to a higher or lower proficiency level, depending on the specific needs of the job.

Administrative Competencies Duty Requiring
Competency Proficiency Level
1. Customer Service All 3
2. Internal Controls 1 2
3. Learning and Development
Coordination 1 2
4. Time and Attendance 1 2
5. Travel Management 2,3 3
6. Property Management 1 2
7. Correspondence Management 4,5,6,7 3
8. Time Management All 3
9. Project Management All 3
10. Human Resources 1 2


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