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CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION.
[Previous reports can be consulted at the principal public libraries.]
GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE.
APR 10 1895
?) Extracts from the annual message of the President, December, 1893.]
There are now connected with the Post-Office establishment 28,324 omployés who are in the classi. fied service. The head of this great Department gives conclusive evidence of the value of civil-ser. vice reform when, after an experience that renders his judgment on the subject absolutely reliable, he expresses the opinion that without the benefit of this system it would be impossible to conduct the vast business intrusted to him.
The method of employing mechanical labor at navy-yards through boards of labor, and making efficiency the sole test by which laborers are employed and continued, is producing the best results, and the Secretary is earnestly devoting himself to its development. Attention is invited to the statements of his report in regard to the workings of the system.
Among the heads of divisions in this Department [Agriculture) the changes have been exceedingly few. Three vacancies occurring from death and resignations have been tilled by the promotion of assistants in the same divisions.
These promotions of experienced and faithful assistants have not only been in the interest of efficient work, but have suggested to those in the Department who look for retention and promotion that merit and devotion to duty are their best reliance.
I join the Secretary in recommending that hereafter each applicant for the position of inspector or assistant inspector in the Bureau of Animal Industry be required, as a condition precedent to his appointment, to exhibit to the United States Civil Service Commigsion bis diploma from an established, regular, and reputablo veterinary college, and that this be supplemented by such an examination in veterinary science as the Commission may prescribe.
The continued intelligent execution of the civil-service law and the increasing approval by the people of its operation are most gratifying. The recent extension of its limitations and regulations to the employés at free delivery post offices, which has been honestly and promptly accomplished by the Commission, with the hearty coöperation of the Postmaster-General, is an immensely important advance in the usefulness of the system.
I am, if possible, more than over convinced of the incalculable benefits conferred by the civil-service law, not only in its effects upon the public service, but also, what is even more important, in its effect in elevating the tone of political lifo generally.
The course of civil-service reform in this country instructively and interestingly illustrates how strong a hold a movement gains upon our people which has underlying it a sentiment of justice and right, and which at the same time promises better administration of their Government.
The law embodying this reform found its way to our statute book more from fear of the popular sentiment existing in its favor than from any love for the reform itself on the part of legislators, and it has lived and grown and flourished in spite of the covert as well as open hostility of spoilsmen and notwithstanding the querulous impracticability of many self-constituted guardians. Beneath all the vagarits and sublimated theories which are attracted to it there underlies this reform a sturdy common-sense principle not only suited to this mundane sphere, but whose application our people are more and more recognizing to be absolutely essential to the most successful operation of their Gov. ernment, if not to its perpetuity.
It seems to me to be entirely inconsistent with the character of this reform, as well as with its best enforcement, to oblige the Commission to rely for clerical assistance upon clerks detailed from other Departments. Ilere ought not to be such a condition in any Department that clerks hired to do work there can be spared to habitually work at another place; and it does not accord with a sensible view of civil-service reform that persons should be employed on the theory that their labor is neces. sary in one Department when in point of fact their services are devoted to entirely different work in another Department.
I earnestly urge that the clerks necessary to carry on the work of the Commission be regularly puti apon its roster, and that the system of obliging the Commissioners to rely upon the services of clerks belonging to other Departments be discontinued. This ought not to increase the exponse to the Government, while it would certainly be more consistent and add greatly to the efficiency of the Commission.
Since this report was put in type, the following amendments have been made to the Civil Service Rules as printed in the appendix to this report:
General Rule III, clause 2, amended by adding at the end the following paragraph:
“(9), for the appointment of an Indian as assistant teacher in the Indian school service."
Departmental Rule II, clause 3, (f), after the words “chiefs of divisions” add "except in the Department of Agriculture the chiefs of the following divisions : Entomology, and Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy.”
Special Departmental Rule No. 1, amended by adding to the exceptions from examination therein authorized in the Treasury Department:
"In the office of the Second Auditor: One skilled laborer with duties exclusively of a carpenter and cabinetmaker.
“In the Bureau of Eng ving and Printing: Custodian of proving presses and modeler."
In clause 6 of the same rule, line 3, strike out the words “of Entomology,” and in line 4, the words “of Economic Ornithology and Mammalogy."
In the same clause, second paragraph, lines 1 and 2, strike out the words “the three professors of meteorology of bighest grade.”
The same section has been further amended by adding thereto the following:
“Noncompetitive examinations shall be held on such dates and at such places as the Commission may from time to time determine, to test the competency of inspectors and assistant inspectors in the Bureau of Animal Industry in the Department of Agriculture employed elsewhere than at Washington, who were so employed on the date inspectors and assistant inspectors were included in the classified service, and have been continued in the service of the Department until opportunity has been provided for their noncompetitive examination. The results of such examination shall be reported by the Commission to the Secretary of Agriculture.”
Special Customs Rule No. 1 amended by adding to the exceptions from examination therein made:
“In the customs district of Vermont: One deputy collector and inspector, who is stationed at Halifax during the winter and at Quebec during the time the St. Lawrence River is open for navigation.
“In the customs district of Boston: Office of the collector: One superintendent of warehouses.
“In the customs district of Philadelphia: Office of the collector: Five chiefs of division."
Railway Mail Rule IV, section 2, clause b, amended by striking out all after the word “averages,” in line 3, to and including the word “territory,” in line 10, and the word “further,” in line 10, so that as amended the clause will read:
“The Commission shall certify from the register of the State or Territory in which the vacancy exists the names of the three eligibles thereon having the highest aver