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CIVIL SERVICE: body of persons other than naval or military, in pay of the state; also the duty or work rendered by such persons.
BRITISH CIVIL SERVICE.-At the head of the British C. S., which numbers above 50,000 officials of all grades, are placed the officers of the royal household, under several departments. Then the officers of the house of lords and the house of commons. Then a vast number of offices or departments, of which the following are most important: treasury, home office, foreign office, colonial office, India office, war office, admiralty, board of trade, post-office, customs, inland revenue (including stamps, taxes, and excise), exchequer and audit office, office of wood and forests, office of works and buildings, duchy of Lancaster, public record office, local government board, education department, civil-service commission, registrar-general's office, stationery office, ecclesiastical commission, charity commission, patent office, emigration office, Trinity house, Heralds' College, law and equity courts, ecclesiastical and admiralty courts, prisons department, British Museum, science and art department, diplomatic and consular corps. Several departments peculiar to Scotland and Ireland form distinct lists, not included in the above.
The heads of most of the departments are political officers, changing with the ministry. Others, such as the head of the exchequer and audit department, or the commissioners of customs and of inland revenue, are permanent officials. Excluding the judicial offices, and a few departments where special knowledge is required, the C. S. is open to the public generally, the principle of open competition being in force as regards most of the departments.
In former times appointments to the govt. offices were obtained mostly by favor; but now, merit and abilities are conditions superadded. By an order in council, 1855, May 21, the system was placed on a new basis, and a commission was appointed to examine all candidates for the service. A candidate being nominated, the commissioners in due time notified that he must come up to be examined, and produce certificates of birth, health, and character. The heads of the several departments agree with the commissioners as to the extent and nature of the subjects on which candidates should be examined. The commissioners neither nominate nor appoint; they only examine, and notify the result of the examination.
By an order in council, 1870, June 4, the regulations were altered, the rule of open and unrestricted competition being then introduced, qualified by some exceptions. In certain small and special offices, nomination with subsequent success at an examination remained the rule of entry. But for all the principal departments-the foreign office being the only prominent exception-there is open competition, to which all British subjects of the required age and of good health and character, are admissible. For offices of the superior grade, the age is from 18 to 24, and in the lower division the age is from 17 to 20. Boy clerks must be over 15 and under 17. Any successful candidate
remaining on the list without obtaining an appointment, is struck off at the age of 25. Boy clerks who at 19 fail to obtain appointments as man clerks also are struck off. The first open competition held was 1871, Feb. 22, when 30 situations in the excise were competed for by a large number of candidates. A further change was made by the introduction of writers '—a species of uncovenanted' clerks, who were paid by the hour, were dismissible at pleasure, and had no claim to pension. Writers were first introduced, and boy clerks' sanctioned in 1870.
These various changes (tending in the opinion of the service to lower the status of the officers) together with the increased cost of living resulted in great agitation throughout the C. S., and in appointing a commission under Dr. Lyon Playfair, to reconsider the whole system of C. S. organization and pay. Following on reports from this commission, considerable changes were made. The decision that the lower grade should have no claim to rise above £200 a year, or to obtain promotion into the higher grade, and the introduction of duty-pay' as a means of rewarding special responsibilities, were among the chief alterations. The Playfair commission reported against the employment of temporary writers; and that class of employés ceased to be appointed after the issue of the order in council 1876, Feb. 12, though a small class of temporary 'copyists' is still maintained. A lower division of the C. S. also was constituted at a reduced rate of salaries, consisting of men and boy clerks to serve in any department of the state to which they may from time to time be appointed. The commutation of pensions for a gross sum is allowed when these, have been granted on abolition or reorganization of office. The rate of pension is one-sixtieth of pay for each year's service.
The order in council. 1876, Feb. 12, introduced important changes as regards the lower division of civil-service clerks. The subjects of examination for this class remaining what they had been, the minimum age of candidates was raised from 16 to 17 years (provision being made, however, for the appointment-by competition in a more limited number of subjects-of boy-clerks between 15 and 17 years of age). Successful candidates were deprived of the right to choose out of the places vacant the office to which they should be appointed, and were made liable to serve in any office to which, not merely at first, but from time to time, the civil service commissioners should appoint them. Under this order, moreover, the number of persons selected at each examination is to exceed the number of places at the time vacant by 10 per cent. And while appointments are to be given, as a rule, in the order of a list made out according to merit, as shown in the examinations, that order may be departed from, if the needs of particular offices seem so to require; and provision is made, that if a candidate remain unplaced at 25 years of age, his name shall be struck off the list. The order has raised the period of probation after appointment from six months to a year; but the civil service commissioners may give a trial in another office to a candi
date rejected after probation. The order further prescribed, having in view that the lower division should be strictly confined to duties more or less mechanical, that the salaries of the clerks should rise from a minimum of £80, by a triennial increment of £15, to a maximum of £200 a yearextra pay, not to exceed £100, being, however, provided for cases of special merit; and that promotion from the lower to the higher division should take place only exceptionally, on the special recommendation of the head of a department, with the assent of the treasury, and on a special certificate granted by the civil-service commissioners. Substantially, this order carried out the recommendations of a treasury commission presided over by Mr. Lyon Playfair. These recommendations on appointing to clerkships of the higher division have not yet been adopted except in one or two smaller matters. They involved even a more considerable departure from the principle of the system introduced in 1870 than has been made in the case of the lower division. The commission advised that there should be a preliminary test examination open to persons above 17 years of age, and a subsequent examination (also a test rather than a competitive examination) open to persons between 18 and 23 years of age, in a certain number of subjects selected by each candidate from a list of subjects prepared by the civil-service commissioners in consultation with the heads of departments. All candidates who showed a certain proficiency in the subjects chosen by them would be put on a list made out in alphabetical order, and be eligible for, though having no claim to, appointment to the higher division. Appointments would be made from the list of persons eligible by the heads of departments-the candidates getting the right to refuse places offered to them, without forfeiting their eligibility. This scheme, as the commission allowed, would involve a partial return to patronage. The proposa! accompanying those recommendations has been acted on, namely, that every member of the higher division should be allowed to rise (from a minimum of £100) to a maximum of £400 a year, and that extra pay, not to exceed £200 a year, should be awarded in cases of special merit.
The civil-service commissioners have under their charge the examinations also for the civil service of India (q. v.); for the selection of persons to be trained for service in the India Forest Department; and for admission to the Indian Civil Engineering College, in all of which the system of open competition prevails.
Competitive examinations for admission to the military service are held three times a year, also under direction of the civil service commissioners. The examinations are open to all youths between 17 and 20 years of age who can pass a prescribed preliminary examination.
For the more important departments of the C. S., see their respective titles: for the Indian civil service, see INDIA, BRITISH.
British civil-service estimates include all expenses of the state not provided for in the army and navy estimates. As an example of these, the amounts following were voted
under their various heads for the financial year 1891, Apr. 1-1892, Mar. 31:
Public works and buildings
Salaries and expenses of public departments........
Education, science, and art
Superannuation and retired allowances and gratuities
4,393, 877 6.248.990
CIVIL SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES.-From small beginnings the civil service of the United States has grown tilli it has reached the number of more than 100,000 persons: employed; and that of each state government has had a corresponding increase. The presence of so vast a body of officials under a democratic system has led to many abuses, and suggested problems among the most important for the body of American citizens. Although elected executive and judicial officials and the appointed officers of legislative bodies are included in the general term civil service, yet it has been applied mostly to appointed officials of the executive department. The constitution of 1787 provided that the president should nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the senate, should appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the supreme court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments were not otherwise provided for in other sections of the document; but congress might vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they might think proper in the president alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments. Taken in connection with the action of the first congress in deciding that the power of removal of officers should belong to the president alone, without need of the concurrence of the senate, these provisions put in the hands of the chief executive and his principal advisers a vast body of patronage, which might be used to reward political services, and in various ways turned to the advantage of parties, or factions, or personal ambitions rather than of the country.
At first the civil service of the United States was managed with little abuse. That of New York and of Pennsylvania, however, early became the prey of designing and adroit politicians, who made it an engine of political management and partisan success. Something of such practice was introduced into the federal government by Mr. Jefferson, but the time at which the infection most fully reached ( that government, was in the administration of Gen. Jackson. He and the politicians who surrounded him inaugurated that policy of sweeping removals for partisan reasons and of appointments used as rewards, which is called the spoils system.' The name is derived from 8 phrase in a speech of Senator Marcy, 1832, in which, speak ing of the politicians of his day, especially those of New York, he said, they see nothing wrong in the rule that to the victor belong the spoils of the enemy.' From that time this system became a regular part of the operations of
the government, whichever party controlled it; the result was often a complete disregard of the principle that 'public office is a public trust,' wide departures from business-like management of public affairs, and great corruption of American politics.
Attention being awakened, in 1853 and 1855 pass-examinations for entrance into the service of the departments at Washington were instituted; but this had little remedial effect. In 1871 congress, at the instance of Pres. Grant, authorized the president to establish a system of competitive examinations, and to appoint a civil-service commission to supervise the system. After two years, however, congress refused to continue the necessary appropriations. In 1883, Jan. 16, congress passed 'An act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States, generally known as the Civil-Service Act. The provisions of this act apply to only a portion of the federal civil service, the portion, namely, which is called the 'classified service.' They do not apply to any elected officer, to any laborer, nor, unless specially extended, to any officer of such position as to be subject to confirmation of appointment by the senate. Altogether, some 15,000 or 16.000 places are under its regulations. These fall mostly into three classes, those in the executive departments at Washington, numbering in all some 6,000; those in the customs service, about 3,000; and those in the postal service, about 6,000. The act is made applicable to every customs office or post-office which has, or shall attain to, a force of 50 or more officials. In general, it is the employés receiving salaries between $800 and $2,000 who are included under its operation. Of those not included, the majority consists of postmasters of the fourth and fifth classes. The spirit and purport of the act have been understood, and officially declared, to be against appointment to, or discharge from, the public service on mere political grounds; though it was conceded that efficiency of administration required that certain prominent officials-a very small proportion of the whole number should be in political accord with the party which the popular vote had called to conduct the government.
The act authorizes the president to appoint three civilservice commissioners, at a salary of $3,500 and travelling expenses, whose duty it shall be to prepare rules and regulations under the act, to supervise examinations under them, to investigate and report concerning their enforcement The commission has a chief examiner, a secretary, and other officers. In Washington, and at other places where examinations are to be held, a number of officials selected by the commission form in each case a board of examiners. These boards hold competitive examinations, free to all, for entrance into the classified service, and appointments and promotions can be made only from among those who have passed these examinations, except that a preference is to be shown in the case of men honorably discharged from the army and navy Appointments are to be apportioned among the states and territories according to popula tion, and are accompanied by a period of probation. Polit