« PreviousContinue »
TO EXTEND THE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE TO
POSITIONS IN EMERGENCY AGENCIES AND
A BILL EXTENDING THE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE
OF THE UNITED STATES
ROBERT RAMSPECK, Georgia, Chairman WILLIAM I. SIROVICH, New York
EDITH NOURSE ROGERS, Massachusetts JENNINGS RANDOLPH, West Virginia CHARLES W. TOBEY, New Hampshire VIRGINIA E. JENCKES, Indiana
CHARLES A. HALLECK, Indiana GEORGE H. MAHON, Texas
MELVIN J. MAAS, Minnesota
EDWARD H. REES, Kansas
MERLIN HULL, Wisconsin
THOMAS L. CAMP, Clerk
GERTRUDE ARLINE, Assistant
TO EXTEND THE CLASSIFIED CIVIL SERVICE TO POSITIONS
IN EMERGENCY AGENCIES AND EXCEPTED POSITIONS IN OLDER BRANCHES OF THE GOVERNMENT
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1937
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
Washington, D.C. The committee this day met at 10:30 o'clock am., Hon. Robert Ramspeck, chairman, presiding, for consideration of H. R. 2700, which reads, as follows:
[H. R. 2700, 75th Cong., 1st sess.) A BILL Extending the classified civil service of the United States Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That notwithstanding any provisions of law to the contrary, the President is authorized by Executive order to place within the classified service as defined by the Act of March 27, 1922 (42 Stat. 470), any position or group of positions in the executive branch of the Federal service which may now or may hereafter be exempted by statute from the provisions of the Civil Service Act of January 16, 1883 (22 Stat. 403).
SEC. 2. The provisions of this act shall be held equally applicable to positions and employees in any corporation, created under authority of an act of Congress, which is controlled or owned by the United States Government, whether or not the employees thereof are paid from funds appropriated by Congress.
SEC. 3. The incumbent of any permnanent position which is affected by any Executive order which may be issued under authority of this statute, who does not already have a classified status, may acquire such a status in his position only upon receiving a new appointment as a result of an open competitive examination held by the Civil Service Commission for filling the position.
STATEMENT OF HON. HARRY B. MITCHELL, PRESIDENT OF THE
UNITED STATES CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION
The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please come to order. We are going to try to start these hearings on time, whether we have a quorum or not. The first witness this morning will be Mr. Mitchell, President of the Civil Service Commission.
Our hearings will be concerning H. R. 2700, and for the purpose of the record I want to state that it is the ention of the chairman to develop a complete picture of the difference between bringing these agencies and positions not now covered by the classified civil service into the classified civil service by one of two methods. This bill provides for competitive examinations. The President's Committee on Reorganization recommended noncompetitive examinations, and the President has approved that recommendation. It is going to be my effort to develop the information for the benefit of the
committee and the Members of the House to enable them to have a clear picture of the difference in those methods, so that they can make a choice as to which method ought to be adopted.
Now let us hear Mr. Mitchell.
Mr. MITCHELL. The Civil Service Commission is very much in favor of the general principle of H. R. 2700, which provides that the President may bring into the civil service those positions that are now outside the purview of the civil-service law, as he sees fit.
The only difference of opinion in regard to the bill is this one Mr. Ramspeck has just spoken of, namely, as to whether they should be covered into the classified service by competitive or noncompetitive examinations. I will cover that only in a general way.
We prefer noncompetitive examinations because we believe it will enable the Commission to pass upon the people to be brought into the classified service in a more orderly fashion and not disrupt existing agencies, as a competitive examination would. If a competitive examination is held, then the Commission, under the law, would have to hold Nation-wide examinations for all the various kinds of positions in those agencies. Our assumption is that under competitive examinations comparatively few of those in the agencies would hold their positions. Îhere is, however, no basis to estimate how many would.
Mr. HALLECK. What was that statement ?
Mr. MITCHELL. If a competitive examination is held, the Commission would have to hold an open examination, which would be a Nation-wide examination, for each of these various positions in any agency. If all these agencies were brought in at one time, then one examination would cover a great many of them; but if they should not be brought in all at one time, we would have to hold a Nationwide examination for each agency as it was brought into the classified service. Is that clear? Mr. HALLECK. I did not hear your statement as to how many
would fail to pass. I thought you said “of the present incumbents most would fail to pass."
Mr. MITCHELL. Under competitive examination they would have to pass high enough on the registers so that they would be within the first three, if there was only one examination.
Mr. CURLEY. In taking a noncompetitive examination, as I remember, one has to make only a passing grade of 70.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes; that is true. When one makes that on a noncompetitive examination he is entitled to the job. If it is a competitive examination one is in open competition with the whole field.
Mr. CURLEY. These present incumbents would have to take some sort of examination, as I understand.
Mr. MITCHELL. Yes; under either method, the competitive or noncompetitive. In the noncompetitive, as has been said, one would have to attain an average of at least 70 and under competitive conditions he would have to make, possibly, better than 90 to receive appointment.
The CHAIRMAN. I understand that you have some representatives of your staff here who will deal with specific phases of the work of the Commission, and I believe you told me you would rather have them discuss the particular considerations that exist in the two plans.