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Civil Service Reform

 Civil Service Reform

The US adopted a civil service system in 1883. The service intended to provide for the changes whose objective was to assist the government function. The civil service system was based on critical factors such as the necessity of competitive evaluations before acceptance into the public service and tenure certainty with disregard for political reasons disallowed. Other factors included a political lack of bias in civil servants’ assurance by forbidding them from making political assessments and contributing preferences to political campaigns (Brewer & Kellough, 2016). The above resulted from corrupt doings whereby government officials and political parties would reward their supporters with civil service jobs to keep their loyalty.

Consequently, the Civil Service Commission of 1883 was created to establish a system based on merit where work within the public service would be provided based on merit and not favoritism (Brewer, Kellough, & Rainey, 2021). With time in history, several civil service reforms were established to manage civil service workers. In the discussion below, the paper evaluates the past and present civil service nature in the US. Particularly, the article discusses the state of civil service before the reform of 1978 and the state of the civil service after the 1978 reform. Additionally, the report also highlights the federal regulations that have impacted civil service and motivated employment inclusiveness and recommended best practices for human resource management based on the Civil Service Reform Act policies.

Civil Service Before 1978

The Civil Service Act of 1978 was established during the rule of President Jimmy Carter. The Act mentioned above abolished the 1883 Civil Service Commission in an effort to strengthen civil service workers’ place in the US. Before the founding of the Civil Service Reform of 1978, the system in place was the Pendleton Act of 1883, established by President Chester A. Arthur (Moreira & Pérez, 2021). The system above birthed the Civil Service Commission, whose purpose was to ascertain civil service opportunities were awarded based on merit, and that employers hired workers via a competitive evaluation. Prior to that, government officials practiced cronyism and nepotism. The officials appointed friends, relatives, and associates to jobs in the civil service sector without vetting for the said job. The Civil Service Commission functioned till the late 70s when the administration of Carter saw the need to put the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 (CSRA). However, despite the achievements of the Carter administration, the 1883 Civil Service Commission was affected by political influences. Thus, it was time to establish an improved civil service system.

Current State of Civil Service

The rise of the Civil Service Act of 1978 birthed the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) directly under the president. In addition, the Act led to the rise of an independent bipartisan Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPM) that was comprised of three members (Brewer et al., 2021). The OPM has an obligation to implement the programs and pass the services that motivate an agency to fulfill its objectives. The OPM’s function works in various groups. It serves and leads the Federal Government in organizational human resource management bypassing public regulations and service to achieve a confided functional public service labor force. On the other side, MSPM is an agency whose function is to ensure that civil service policies are implemented precisely and purposefully to civil service workers. The agency acts as a watchdog that guarantees all civil service agencies obey the federal merit regulations.

Federal Laws That Impacted Civil Service

Several other laws may have affected civil service and established an improved diverse workplace. One primary federal law that influenced civil service and established the comprehension of equality in the US workforce is the Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 (CRA). The function of the Act was to restrain employers from participating in discriminatory doings against workers based on race, nationality, color, religion, and gender (Brewer & Kellough, 2016). The 1964 CRA was replaced in 1991 by the Civil Rights Act. The latter Act added several new regulations to the existing one that shielded all workers from discrimination by employers.

Another federal law that influenced the civil service and shaped a diverse workplace is the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The 1990 ADA and its 2008 modifications were obligated to address the problems of discrimination against people living with disabilities. The ADA forbids private managers, local and state governments, workers’ unions, and employment agencies from discriminating against disabled people in measure for employment requests, hiring, terminating, remuneration, and advancement.


From all the information gathered during the research on the Civil Service Reform Act, undoubtedly, all the regulations contained in the CSRA are in the civil service employees’ best interest. Nonetheless, it is worth noting that all the disparities considering the policy are based on its implementation. As a result, the Civil Service Reform Act can be suggested as a best practice in an organization whereby anti-discrimination laws and human resource management are rendered more functional. The implementation of the ethical standards in place is reinforced.


Brewer, G. A., & Kellough, J. E. (2016). Administrative values and public personnel management: Reflections on civil service reform. Public Personnel Management45(2), 171-189.

Brewer, G. A., Kellough, J. E., & Rainey, H. G. (2021). The Importance of Merit Principles for Civil Service Systems: Evidence from the US Federal Sector. Review of Public Personnel Administration, 0734371X211026008.

Moreira, D., & Pérez, S. (2021). Civil service reform and organizational practices: Evidence from the Pendleton Act (No. w28665). National Bureau of Economic Research.


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Civil Service Reform

Civil Service Reform

In 750-1,000 words, do the following:
1. Explain what civil service in the United States looked like before 1978.
2. Explain what civil service has looked like since the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.
3. Describe other Federal laws that may have impacted civil service and shaped an increasingly diverse workplace.
4. Propose best practices for human resource management within an organization based on what you learned from your research of the Civil Service Reform Act.
Use two to three scholarly resources to support your explanations.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.

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