Application: The Civil Service System

How do public administrators become public administrators? Who recruits, selects, and hires them? How are they paid, promoted, and evaluated? The civil service system is similar to the human resources (HR) department at a private organization. That is, it is concerned with all of the issues and tasks related to employment within the organization. Since the “organization” in this case is the government, there also are many differences between the civil service system and the human resources practices at most private companies. Government organizations have very specific, rigid processes for recruitment, selection, promotion, and appraisal of employees. Many of these processes have been in place since the 19th century. For example, prospective civil servants must pass exams before even being considered for a government position. This is part of the merit system, which is one of the foundational principles of the civil service system. The merit system is based on the idea that the most qualified person should fill each position, rather than a person who simply has the “right” political connections. In addition, government positions all are given a specific classification, which determines the rate of pay. Although these rules sound logical in theory, in practice they often become extremely complicated, leading to dishonesty and inefficiency. As a result, efforts at civil service reform are common and span throughout history, from the Pendleton Act of 1881, to President George W. Bush’s push for competitive sourcing in 2001. In this assignment, you examine what the civil service system comprises, as well as how it might be improved.




The assignment (2–3 pages): Due Thursday 6/11/2015


  • In your own words, define the civil service system.
  • Explain the major components of the civil service system.
  • Explain one way in which you might improve the civil service system.
  • Explain why you would choose to implement this improvement and what its positive results might be.


    Application Assignments must be in APA style and format



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