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Provided further, That such incumbent shall continue to have a classified status after January 1, 1941, unless he then has passed an open competitive examination for such position and has been appointed in accordance with the Civil Service Act and Rules.
You see that gives a slight advantage to the people already at work in the departments and if they are willing to study during the year I should think many of them ought to be able to pass an examination. Certainly if after all their experience they cannot pass an open competitive examination they cannot be very efficient.
So in a way you see I was willing to compromise a good deal. It does not seem to me that these people—some 250,000 or 300,000 of them would be taken in-should be given civil-service noncompetitive examinations and in every probability to still further eliminate the possibility of employment of the eligibles now on the civil-service list.
As I remember the Civil Service Commission stated before our House committee, that only a fourth of those now at work on a noneligible civil-service status—having a noneligible civil-service statuswould pass the examinations.
The Civil Service Commission is tremendously overworked. I know examinations that have been held a year ago are only just being rated.
I wish very much, Mr. Chairman, we could receive larger appropriations in order that the Commission might function properly. I think the great temptation would be for them to give perhaps a not very careful noncompetitive examination-in fact, these 250,000 to 300,000 people would be practically blanketed into the service. I for one could not answer to the people now having civil-service status if I voted for a measure to blanket in 250,000 or 300,000 people.
I have here, Mr. Chairman, a chart, a table showing the number of workers in different administrative departments such as the Public Works Administration, Housing Authority, Civilian Conservation Corps, Agricultural Adjustment Administration, Federal Reserve, Federal Housing, National Youth Administration, Home Loan Bank, Internal Revenue, General Accounting Office, Petroleum Conservation Division, National Resources Board, Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, Reconstruction Finance Corporation, Surplus Commodities Corporation, the Treasury Accounts and Deposits, Public Buildings Administration, and Farm Security Administration.
I wrote to all of these departments and also to the Comptroller of the Currency and I received letters back giving the number of people, number of employees, coming under the classified service by the enactment of H. R. 960. It is given by States and I think you might be interested in having it.
The CHAIRMAN. Very much.
Mrs. ROGERS. So far as I know this hasn't been done before and the letters are written to me and signed by the heads of the different departments. I don't know why the Comptroller of the Currency did not care to give me the number of people that come under the act in his department, but I understand that number is small.
Senator BYRD. I would like to have it made a part of the record. The CHAIRMAN. It will be made part of the record. (The matter referred to is as follows:)
85 2, 294
434 5,070 1,955
380 8, 242 2, 939
33 4, 285 1,453 6,163 3, 677
912 15, 355 57, 804
Mrs. Rogers. I would like to make one more point, Mr. Chairman, if I may, and that is the fact that the committee appointed by the President entitled the "President's Committee for Civil Service Improvement,” which includes in its membership Mr. Justice Stanley Reed, Mr. Justice Frankfurter, Mr. Justice Frank Murphy, Mr. McReynolds, Mr. Leonard D. White, Mr. Robert E. Wood, Mr. Dunn, and Mr. Warren N. Gardner, assistant to the chairman-the committee was appointed to study the conditions in the civil service and to make recommendations. That committee has not reported to the President yet or at least if it has reported, the report has not been made public.
I think before we pass legislation we should have that report.
I do feel tremendously strongly, Mr. Chairman, that we should protect the people who have already taken civil-service examinations. They go into the service of the Government to serve the Government, to serve the country, and they make it a career, a profession. Some of those people give their lives in the service of their country. They work much longer hours than the allotted time in many instances and have proved invaluable, and, as you know, a good many of the people—I haven't the exact numbers here—who lost their positions under the Economy Act have never been reinstated.
If I felt this were a merit bill I should be willing to support it and to work for it. I know of your tremendous interest, Mr. Chairman, and the other members of the committee in the civil service and I am very grateful to you for this opportunity to appear before you.
The CHAIRMAN. Thank you very much. I think the record should show—I don't know whether it does or not-your position in the House with respect to the Civil Service Committee over there.
Mrs. ROGERS. I am the ranking minority member of the Civil Service Committee, but as I have stated before, although I am a Republican, I have always felt that party politics should not enter into the appointment of people in the Federal Government. I have never let it enter into my own appointments and I think no one should do it.
May I add one word! I feel that extreme care should be given to the character of those examined. I know Mr. Fleming testified that they did not have the time to give full and complete character investigations. They have already found that some people in the employment of the Government should not be there.
That I think is a very important thing to consider at this time.
The CHAIRMAN. Now we will hear Colonel Clark and his group from the Public Works Administration.
STATEMENT OF E. W. CLARK, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC
Mr. Clark. E. W. Clark, Acting Commissioner of Public Works, Public Works Administration.
Mr. Chairman, I notice in this matter we have been discussing, H. R. 960, and as further explained by page 5 of the report submitted by Mr. Ramspeck, the Public Works Administration is included in the agencies to which that bill might apply.
Speaking for myself as Acting Commissioner, Public Works Administration, and for Mr. Carmody, who is head of the Federal Works Agency, of which P. W. A. is a unit under the P. W. A. reorganization plan, we are, of course, very heartily in accord with blanketing our people into the civil service.
At the present time our method of personal rating follows the civil-service method, although the act under which we are operating excepts us from civil-service requirements with reference to appointments.
It is felt that in justice to these people of ours who have served so long and so well in the past 7 years, and with all due respect to Senator Schwartz with his eulogistic account of the T. V. A., I think the P. W. A. has personnel which I won't say excel but which at least are not more than equaled by those of any other agency.
I think their work, coming up from nothing to a very large agency, speaks for itself.
Now many of our people have been with us for a long time. They are now well trained, they know the governmental procedures, and they are well adapted to be included in the civil service. At the present time, as you probably are aware, the Public Works Administration is being curtailed and is in a state of what you might call liquidation. At our peak we had about 10,700 people in Washington and the field; today we have less than 3,000.
This brings me to the second point which I would very much like the committee to consider, and that is the rights of those people who have served so long and faithfully but who now due to our lack of administrative funds have been and are being furloughed. I feel that they should have some recognition of their past good services, and of the type of people that they are; and that provision should be made that in the event of this bill going through these furloughed employees shall be included in its provisions.
The main reason I ask this is that as our forces have been curtailed we have endeavored to find employment for those people who have been laid off. We are doing fairly well but only fairly.
Now, in many other places where they have need of such personnel as we are laying off (and we are laying off very excellent persons), the requirement of civil service status prevents them from enjoying the privilege which in my estimation they have earned by this length of service and the work which they have done.
I would strongly urge on you as a matter of fairness to these people who have served, that consideration be given to those who are on furloughed status as well as to those who are now on the active list of the Public Works Administration.
Today we have on the active list of the Public Works Administration approximately 2,700 people, of whom approximately 1,100 are in Washington and 1,600 in the field; and this number will be further reduced as the work load falls off. We will make additional furloughs in order to come within our budgetary allowance for the fiscal year 1939-40 and again for the year 1940-41. The 1940-41 budget as set up will provide an average of approximately 1,250 man-years.
Coming back to the furloughed people, we have furloughed since July 5,851 persons.