To respond quickly and effectively and meet its program objectives and mandate, OTI retains a group of high level professionals and experts under U.S. Personal Services Contracts (USPSCs). These knowledgeable and skilled professionals make up the vast majority of the OTI workforce and are at its forefront implementing and achieving the office's programmatic goals and objectives. In addition to full-time USPSC staff, OTI also utilizes their "Bullpen" of highly skilled intermittent USPSCs that provide assistance in a surge capacity. These senior field and management advisors can be deployed quickly based on the needs of a program.
What is a USPSC?
U.S. PERSONAL SERVICES CONTRACTORS
To respond quickly and effectively and meet its program objectives and mandate, OTI retains a group of high level professionals and experts under U.S. Personal Services Contracts (USPSCs). These knowledgeable and skilled professionals make up the vast majority of the OTI workforce and are at its forefront implementing and achieving the office's programmatic goals and objectives. USPSCs are considered employees of USAID for all purposes except programs administered by the Office of Personnel Management.
USPSCs are US citizens contracted to the Agency, and establish an employer-employee relationship between USAID and the contractor. PSCs have the same salary scale and allowances as a direct-hire employee, but have a more limited range of benefits. USPSCs have income taxes withheld by USAID and receive W-2s from the Agency. There are several other similar benefits that USPSCs may participate in, such as partial reimbursement for health and life insurance costs, as well as full coverage of workers' compensation, among other benefits. USPSCs are not eligible to participate in the Federal government's health insurance, life insurance, and retirement benefits provided to members of the Civil Service and Foreign Service (i.e., direct-hire personnel). USPSCs make up a large percentage of the total workforce for several USAID offices and serve in the Washington, DC headquarters as well as positions worldwide.
The above is a simplified version of a small section of the USAID Acquisition Regulations (AIDAR), Appendix D. If you have any questions, OTI encourages you to view the entire document at the USAID website. Note that some portions of the AIDAR for USPSCs have been modified by interim changes found here. If there are any differences between the information shown on this website and the information posted at , the USAID website information shall govern.
Summary of Allowable Benefits for a U.S. Government Personal Services Contract (PSC) Employee
(1) Personal services contractors (PSCs) are government employees for purposes of the Internal Revenue Code and are therefore subject to social security (FICA) and federal income tax withholdings. As employees, they are ineligible for the "foreign earned income" exclusion under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) regulations.
(2) Personal services contractors are treated on par with other government employees except for programs based on any law administered by the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM). While PSCs are ineligible to participate in any of the OPM programs, the following fringe benefits are provided as a matter of policy:
(i) The employer's FICA contribution for retirement purposes
(ii) A contribution against the actual cost of the PSC's annual health and life insurance costs
(a) The contribution for health insurance shall not exceed 72% of the actual cost to the PSC for his/her annual health insurance, or the maximum U.S. Government contribution for a direct-hire employee, as announced by the OPM, whichever is less.
(b) The contribution for life insurance shall be up to 50% of the actual annual costs to the PSC for life insurance, not to exceed $500.00 per year.
(iii) PSCs shall receive the same percentage pay comparability adjustment (commonly referred to as Cost Of Living Adjustment, or "COLA") as U.S. Government employees subject to the availability of funds.
(iv) PSCs shall receive an annual salary increase subject to satisfactory performance documented in their annual written evaluation. The increase will be fixed at the next "step" for the PSC's specific GS-equivalent grade.
(v) PSCs shall receive the following allowances and differentials provided in the State Department's Standardized Regulations (Government Civilians Foreign Areas) on the same basis as U.S. Government employees:
* Temporary lodging allowance
* Living quarters allowance
* Post allowance
* Supplemental post allowance
* Separate maintenance allowance
* Education allowance
* Educational travel
* Post differential
* Payments during evaluation/authorized departure
* Danger pay
(vi) Health room services may be provided for overseas postings
(vii) PSCs are eligible to receive benefits for injury, disability, or death under the Federal Employees' Compensation Act. This law is administered by the Department of Labor.
(viii) PSCs are eligible to earn four hours of annual leave and four hours of sick leave for each two-week period. However, if the contractor has had previous USAID PSC service (i.e., has served under other personal services contracts covered by Sec. 636(a)(3) of the FAA or other statutory provisions applicable to USAID) and/or previous U.S. Government direct-hire service (civilian and/or military service), s/he will earn vacation leave based on the time in service as follows:
* Up to 3 years of service - 4 hours of vacation leave for each two-week period
* Over 3 years and up to 15 years of service - 6 hours of vacation leave for each two-week period (including 10 hours vacation leave for the final pay period of the calendar year)
* 15+ years of service - 8 hours of vacation leave for each two-week period
(ix) Additional PSC benefits
* 401(k) program for full-time PSCs
* Eligibility for Cash Awards
* Paid government holidays
* Medevac Coverage (100% reimbursement)
* Training allowance
* Commuter benefits (Washington-based PSCs only)
(3) Retired U.S. Government employees may be awarded Personal Services Contracts without any reduction in or offset against their government annuity.
The above is a simplified version of a small section of the USAID Acquisition Regulations (AIDAR), Appendix D. If you have any questions, we encourage you to view the entire document at the USAID website.