U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Indian Health Service: The Federal Health Program for American Indians and Alaska Natives
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Secretary (Office Automation)
G S-318-05

This position is located in the Branch of the Business Office in a facility of the Indian Health Service.

The position is responsible for the full range of clerical services to support the Business Office operations.

General Clerical and Supportive Tasks: 80%
Reviews incoming correspondence, refers to supervisor that which requires his personal attention, routes other incoming materials to indicated locations and to individuals. Reviews memoranda, publications, etcetera, preparing pertinent comments to call to supervisor’s attention items pertaining to his area of activities.

Composes letters, memoranda on such matters as requests for information on status of contracts, scheduling of appointments, conferences, meetings, acknowledgement of correspondences received, referrals of matter of clearance or other correspondence relating to the Business Office process. As directed by supervisor, prepares instructions for subordinate offices or employees to implement higher echelon directives concerning procedural or administrative requirements.

Reviews outgoing correspondences for procedural and grammatical accuracy, conformation with general policy, style, and adequacy. Returns to writer for correction, errors or inadequacies.

From general instructions of supervisor, searches files, contacts personnel from other organizational segments, other agencies, or complies library reference materials, to obtain information for studies, meetings, conferences or general background materials for supervisor’s information or use. Prepares recurring or special reports and follows through to completion on all matters requiring action. Informs and instructs technicians and lower grade secretarial and clerical personnel in the office in established procedure for the preparation and clearances of correspondences, action documents, and other clerical and administrative practices.

Makes travel arrangements for supervisor, maintains itinerary of travel, and prepares travel vouchers upon completion of travel for all employees of the Branch of the Business Office.

As assigned by the supervisor, who outlines methods and controls, conducts any special studies required.

Employee is responsible for monitoring the budget established for the Branch of the Business Office, which includes responsibility of requesting and receiving all necessary supplies and services for this branch including the preparation of all required procurement documents.

Employee is responsible for completing all necessary H H S-350 personnel training actions for the Branch of the Business Office and for follow up relating to the training process.

Files and updates all documents related to Business Office operations. Personal and Telephone Contacts 10%
Receives telephone calls and utilizes knowledge of the organization, programs, operations and procedures to make proper disposition of inquiries. Question callers to the extent necessary to establish or clarify the nature of the call and information required. Selects those inquiries, which can personally be answered without reference to supervisor or staff members, including matters requiring substantive program knowledge, or are sensitive or controversial in nature. Takes callers concerned with urgent matters to most appropriate staff member or organization. Initiates calls or contacts as directed by supervisor to obtain or furnish information or as personally known to be necessary from knowledge of procedures or past actions. Observes the rules of confidentiality in the retention and dissemination of privileged information.

Maintains supervisor’s activity calendar. Based upon knowledge of plans and previous commitments, schedules appointments and makes arrangements for conferences without prior clearance. Assembles background material for supervisor. Attends meetings and prepares report of the proceedings. Timekeeping 10%
Serves as a timekeeper for the Branch of the Business Office personnel. Overtime, comp time, and leave slips from supervisors to prepare timecards. Maintains time records (leave, comp time, overtime, etcetera.) on each employee. Distributes and files employees’ earning and leave statements. Prepares error notices, leave or salary corrections, donated or restoration of leave, advance leaves, etcetera.


Factor 1 – Knowledge Required by the Position:
Knowledge of the substantive programs and activities of the office as they relate to clerical and administrative functions involved. This includes an awareness and understanding of the purposes, objectives, commitments and priorities of such programs and activities to perform both recurring and special assignments.

Knowledge of a variety of office operations including telephone and receptionist services; disposition of mail; origination, review and control of correspondence and other documentation; arrangements for meetings and conferences; maintenance and disposition of files and records; search and compilation of data from files and other sources; travel and transportation arrangements and reporting; requisition of supplies, maintenance and other services; initiation of personnel and training actions and serves; preparation of time and attendance reports and other clerical and administrative procedures and requirements peculiar to the organization of assignments.

Knowledge of the nature and contents of publications, forms and other guidelines or informational material pertinent to carrying out or coordinating office work and specific program activities.

Knowledge of supportive office services including maintenance, supply, reproduction and custodial services and of procedures applicable to securing, controlling, acquiring authorization for and justifying such services.

Skills of a fully qualified typist to operate a manual, electric, and automatic typewriter. Skill to efficiently utilize office automated equipment such as word processors, personal computers and printers. The position also requires the knowledge of various software (that is, WordPerfect, Microsoft Office 97, Lotus 1-2-3, P C tool, D O S, Paradox, Harvard Graphics) to perform automation duties: word processing, electronic mail, calendar, database management, desk-top publishing, graphics, charts and spreadsheet. Also will utilize the R P M S system for preparation of Automated Resource Management System (A R M S) acquisitions for supplies or services.

Knowledge of grammar, spelling, capitalization and punctuation needed to type a variety of material accurately from written sources or voice recordings. The knowledge of the normal formats, forms typing policies and common terminology of the office or unit for which the work is done.

Knowledge of D H H S Travel policies for domestic travel in order to prepare travel orders, vouchers, advances, and to make all other travel arrangements for the traveler.

Knowledge of D H H S Timekeeping policies for preparing timecards, error notices, leave corrections, overtime, comp time, recording on 564’s for status of leaves, etcetera.

Incumbent is required to have knowledge of an extensive body of rules, procedures and operations, and knowledge of organization and functions of the office in order to perform all procedural work of the office. This includes knowledge required for the establishment and monitoring the commitment register for the Branch of Contracts and Grants. The incumbent must have a basic knowledge of bookkeeping in order to properly record all expenditures and to rectify those expenditures with financial reports on a monthly basis.

Knowledge required to prepare all training requests for the Branch of the Business Office, and maintains files in accordance with established training policies.

Knowledge required for properly preparing and maintaining files and follow up actions on the personnel required documents including S F-52’s, Evaluation reports, etcetera.

Knowledge required for the preparation of internal reports in the Branch of the Business Office, as well as external reports required by Headquarters or other higher authority.

Transmits messages and instructions from supervisor pertaining to major activities and important projects in which the organizational segment is involved, to keep his staff informed on matters relating to their areas of interest. Maintain record of progress on assignments, setting up schedule of reporting dates according to the requirements of the assignment, and assures that deadlines are met.

Factor 2 – Supervisory Controls:
The Business Office Manager defines the overall objectives and priorities of the work of the offices of the Branch of the Business Office. The secretary plans and carries out the work, handles problems in accordance with established instructions, priorities, policies and commitments made by the supervisor.

Example: The secretary receives telephone calls and visitors, through her own initiative determines which matters/questions can be answered by other officials within the organizations or herself, should these answers not require substantive, technical knowledge. The secretary keeps the supervisor’s calendar, schedules appointments, conferences without prior approval of the supervisor, but based upon her knowledge of his scheduled activities and appropriately briefs the supervisor on all matters to be considered before the meetings. The secretary may receive request for information concerning the organization’s programs and based upon her own knowledge and information available in the records, personally furnishes or see to it that this information is furnished within a specific time period. The secretary will, based on the information provided by the supervisor concerning the purpose of conferences, training sessions, negotiations, etcetera, and people to attend, make all necessary arrangements, including space and contacting people and all of the matters pertinent to the successful conclusion of the gathering. This includes final report based upon transcription of recordings of the meetings or based upon her notes taken during the meeting. The secretary will receive and read all incoming correspondences and reports, screens those items which can be handled personally and forwards rest to the supervisor or appropriate staff members. The secretary will review all outgoing correspondences for procedural and grammatical accuracy in conformance with general policy, etc., and advise of any deviations or inadequacies. The secretary signs routine correspondences of a non-technical or delegation nature in the supervisor’s name or in own name as the secretary to the supervisor. Completed work is reviewed by the supervisor for adequacy, appropriateness, and conformance to established policy.

Factor 3 – Guidelines:
The secretary works with the guidelines that typically include dictionaries; style manuals; agency instructions concerning correspondence, time and attendance; training manuals; personnel actions; and procedures to be followed in establishing complete contract or grants files. The secretary is responsible for locating and selecting appropriate guidelines, references, procedures for application to specific cases regarding specific types of contracts, legal documents, financial reports, etcetera.

Factor 4 – Complexity:
The Secretary’s work consists of providing typing, clerical services and research for the Business Office Manager, and other staff members, maintaining office files, sorting mail, and referring phone calls and visitors to the appropriate staff members. She is also responsible for maintaining commitment register for the Business Office budget and is responsible for requisitioning all supplies, printing, maintenance services for making all travel arrangements for staff members and completing travel forms, arranging for meetings and preparing scheduled reports from information available in the files.

The secretary is responsible for preparing reports on non-recurring basis as requested by Headquarters or other higher authority by researching procurement reports or other legal documents on file in the office.

The secretary is responsible for setting up conferences or negotiations and as necessary, arranges for travel and hotel accommodations for conference or negotiation participants or Headquarters level visitors, such as auditors, etcetera, when their schedules and commitments are known.

Factor 5 – Scope and Effect:
The accuracy and completeness of all work done by the secretary continues to have effect on other levels as to work as carried out. The accuracy and completeness of printing and maintaining third party billing and collection reports and of typing error free documents is absolutely necessary in carrying out the specific procedural and legal requirements of the Business Office process. The accuracy and completeness of the reports affect the reliability of the revenue to be projected for the facility which in turn affect the accuracy and reliability of the facility budget. The accuracy of consolidating reports as submitted by service units and other subordinates units is absolutely necessary as the reports are transmitted to Indian Health Service which is further transmitted to H S A and to department levels. The overall scope and effect of this job goes far beyond the immediate confines of this office.

Factor 6 – Personal Contacts:
The personal contacts of the secretary are with individuals within the Indian Health Service facility at all levels including the Area executive staff, with Headquarters personnel of various departments and with higher level agency personnel such as D H H S and P H S.

Factor 7 – Purpose of Contacts:
To assist Facility and Area personnel by way of answering questions relating to the Business Office process. To schedule conferences or conference calls with higher agency personnel. To arrange meetings with current or prospective staff members and to follow up on submittals of information as defined in previous conferences.

Factor 8 – Physical Demands:
The work is sedentary. Typically, the employee may sit comfortably to do the work. However, there may be some walking; standing; bending; carrying of light items such as papers, books, small parts, driving an automobile, etcetera. No special physical demands are required to perform the work.

Factor 9 – Work Environment:
The work environment involves everyday risks or discomforts which require normal safety precautions, typical of such places as offices, meeting & training rooms, libraries, an residences or commercial vehicles, for example., use of safe work practices with office equipment, avoidance of trips and falls, observance of fire regulations and traffic signals, etc. The work area is adequately lighted, heated and ventilated.