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ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER III

Specialist, Constituent Services

Recruitment #21-002247-0098

Introduction

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) is seeking a highly skilled public information specialist to work with its busy Constituent Services team.

The Office of Constituent Services is the Department’s dedicated and centralized intake, analysis, and processing unit for Public Information Act (PIA) requests, general public inquiries, responsive inmate concerns, Departmental replies to interagency constituent grievances, and records management. The position is in line with the Department's mission in that a centralized unit will serve the people of Maryland in a manner that provides the highest quality of customer service. 

 

This candidate must be an organized, savvy writer and communicator, skilled at advocating complex policy positions before a wide variety of audiences; persuasively and diplomatically adept at building relationships at the individual level and coalitions at the organization level; and someone who sweats the details of studying, interpreting, and communicating complicated and nuanced issues.

GRADE

15

LOCATION OF POSITION

Reisterstown Plaza Office Center (RPOC), North Tower
6776 Reisterstown Road
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

POSITION DUTIES

This position serves as a Specialist for the Office of Constituent Services focusing on requests and inquiries made to the Department under the MD Public Information Act (PIA). The incumbent will report directly to the unit’s Manager and will work collaboratively across the Department with designated liaisons and coordinate responsive correspondence with the both the Government and Legislative Affairs and Communications, Transformation, and Engagement teams. The Specialist is principally responsible for ensuring that the Department meets all legal requirements as mandated under the General Provisions Article, Title 4, Annotated Code of Maryland.

This position’s primary focus will conduct research, write or draft correspondence, letters, and/or other written materials in response to PIA requests. Strong writing, editing and organizational skills are necessary. This position will receive a large volume of PIA requests on a wide range of issues. This position has regular contact with the public and is responsible for responding to inquiries from these individuals. The incumbent also is responsible for responding to inquiries from elected officials, media, interested parties, stakeholders, lobbyists, affected businesses and others.

In keeping with the Department’s strategic objectives, the Specialist for Constituent Services serves an integral role that is engaged in the Department’s successful mission, and while fulfilling its vision. We are constantly striving to improve and better ourselves so that we can better support our clients. If you have a curiosity and commitment to learning and growth and you thrive under pressure, you are probably a great fit for our team!

The Specialist serves as a representative for the Department within his or her area of responsibility, including answering PIA requests, verbal, and written communications with stakeholders, and acting as a liaison with federal, State, and local agencies.

The duties of a Specialist in the unit include:

•     Entering incoming correspondence into the PIA tracking system to ensure timely and adequate return of responses.

•     Researching and replying to letters, phone calls and requests for assistance. Advising the Executive Director when potentially high-interest/high-profile PIA requests are received.

•     Following through on concerns with appropriate action by drafting official correspondence on behalf of the Secretary (DPSCS), Executive Director (Constituent Services), and other members of Department leadership.

•     Regularly and routinely reading (for the purpose of screening, prioritizing, and disposition) reports, inquiries, findings, Executive Staff papers and correspondence, legal documents, and memoranda from high-level officials.

•     Drafting and coordinating correspondence for the Executive Director or designee for signature in response to controlled documents and requests.

•     Understanding and clarifying the applicability of existing State statutes, regulations, policy, and practice (MD Code, COMAR, case law, AG Opinions, policies, and directives) to stakeholders, agency personnel and the public.

•     Most duties focus on tasks associated with PIA requests, but occasional work is performed in collaboration with other Department agencies or assignments to other functions within Constituent Services.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must meet all minimum and selective qualifications to be considered, and to appear on the list of persons eligible for hire. Please read all requirements before applying.

Education: Possession of a bachelor's degree from an accredited four-year college or university.

Experience: Three (3) years’ experience in administrative or professional work.

Notes:

1)    Candidates may substitute additional experience in administrative staff or professional work on a year-for-year basis for the required education.

2)    Candidates may substitute additional graduate level education at an accredited college or university at the rate of 30 semester credit hours for each year of the required experience.

3)    Candidates may substitute U.S. Armed Forces military service experience as a commissioned officer involving staff work that included the regular use of independent judgment and analysis in applying and interpreting complex administrative plans, policies, rules or regulations or analysis of operational programs or procedures with recommendations for improvement on a year-for-year basis for the required education and experience.

SELECTIVE QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must meet the selective qualification(s) to be considered. Include clear and specific information on your application regarding your qualifications.

Minimum one (1) of the required years’ administrative experience must be in processing requests for the MD Public Information Act (PIA), responding to inquiries and preparing correspondence in response to requests for information.

DESIRED OR PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS

Strong preference will be given to applicants that possess the following preferred qualification(s). Include clear and specific information on your application regarding the qualifications.

•     Bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited four-year college or university with at least thirty (30) semester credit hours in one or more of the following subjects: public policy/administration, political science, English, journalism, public relations, or a related discipline.

•     Demonstrated proficiency with computer applications, especially writing programs such as Google Docs and Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Publisher.

•     Experience interpreting and creating correspondence based on Maryland statutes, regulations (COMAR), departmental directives, and guidelines.

•     Familiarity or experience working with CRM software is an asset.

These skills and qualifications will be assessed further on in the recruitment process:

•     Superior written and verbal communications skills; strong interpersonal skills and willingness to communicate with clients, colleagues, and management.

•     Possess scrupulous attention to detail and strong ability to organize information.

•     Possess the fundamentals of writing and editing, grammar, style and use of plain English.

•     Proficiency with applying the principles of style guides, such as the Associated Press (AP) Style Guide, plus familiarity with legal and regulatory citation conventions.

•     Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with co-workers, staff of other agencies, and the public, providing written responses to internal and external customers.

•     Capable of working well as part of a team as well as exercising independent judgment and discretion regarding assigned tasks.

•     Experience identifying problem areas and recommending appropriate solutions based on logical consideration of alternatives.

•     Good time management skills, including prioritizing, scheduling, and adapting as necessary.

LICENSES, REGISTRATIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS

Employees in this classification may be assigned duties which require the operation of a motor vehicle. Employees assigned such duties will be required to possess a motor vehicle operator’s license valid in the State of Maryland.

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services conducts a criminal history records check on all new employees in accordance with federal and State statute and regulation to detect criminal convictions that may be related specifically to job performance.

Candidates for this position will be subject to a State and federal criminal history records check that, at a minimum, is conducted based on the individual’s full name and date of birth or, if there is reason to believe that the name and date of birth may not reflect the individual’s complete criminal history, a State and federal criminal history records check based on fingerprint identification before a permanent appointment can be made.

Any criminal conviction information discovered as the result of a criminal history records check shall be used in conjunction with other information available as part of the hiring process to determine the individual’s suitability for employment with the Department.

SELECTION PROCESS

It is important that all experience be fully documented. Please make sure that you provide sufficient information on your application to show that you meet the qualifications for this recruitment. Failure to LIST ALL EXPERIENCE AND ANSWER ALL SUPPLEMENTAL QUESTIONS SPECIFICALLY AND ACCURATELY may cause the candidate to be rejected.

All information concerning your qualifications must be submitted by the closing date. We will not consider information submitted after this date. Successful candidates will be ranked as Best Qualified, Better Qualified, or Qualified and placed on the eligible (employment) list for at least one year.

EXAMINATION PROCESS

The assessment may consist of a rating of your education, training, and experience related to the requirements of the position. It is important that you provide complete and accurate information on your application. Please report all experience and education that is related to this position.

BENEFITS

FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS

Online applications are highly recommended. However, if you are unable to apply online, the application, supplemental questionnaire and any requested additional information may be:

1)    Emailed to: hr.recruitmentuser@maryland.gov – referencing the recruitment number in the subject line.
2)    Faxed to: 410-484-5928 – providing a cover sheet with your contact information, recruitment name, recruitment number and the number of pages faxed.

For questions regarding this recruitment, please contact the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services’ Human Resources Services Division - Recruitment and Examination Unit at 410-585-3999 (TTY/Maryland Relay Service: 800-735-2258).

    Michael McCoy 
    410-736-9584
    michaelj.mccoy@maryland.gov

If you are having difficulties with submitting your online application, please contact the MD Department of Budget and Management’s Recruitment and Examination Division at Application.Help@maryland.gov, or call 410-767-4850.

In accordance with the Governor's Code of Fair Employment Practices, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services is committed to an effective equal opportunity and affirmative action program. This program affords all employees, and applicants for employment, an equal opportunity in every aspect of employment without regard to race, sex (gender), age, religion, national origin, color, creed, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, ancestry, genetic information, marital status, gender identity and expression, retaliation for previously participating in a discrimination complaint process, or political affiliation.