Letters on the Application of Civil Service Rules to Employees of the Home Owners Loan Corporation.
Dear Mr. Mitchell:
The Home Owners Loan Corporation was created as an emergency agency to meet the mortgage crisis in the urban home field, and the Act provided that its employees should be selected with-out regard to the provisions of the Civil Service Act. This was necessary in order to organize the service quickly and to render immediate assistance not only to home owners, but to the savings and commercial banks, building and loan associations, insurance companies and other mortgage-lending institutions which were foreclosing mortgages.
The Corporation has been in existence for more than three years, and it has progressively sought to test and select its employees on the basis of merit. Now, at the conclusion of its lending activities, the Corporation is engaged in reducing its force. It is at this point, and also with respect to the future work of the Corporation and of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and its subsidiaries, that I am confident the Civil Service Commission, with its accepted standards, can render most effective service. I am aware that further legislation is necessary to place the positions in the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and its subsidiaries within the competitive classified service; but now that much of the emergency is past and the work of the Board has been stabilized, I feel that so far as practicable the principles and methods of the merit system established by the Civil Service Act should be further extended in its personnel relationships.
The Federal Home Loan Bank Board and its agencies have for more than two years received the assistance of the Civil Service Commission in the development of standards and policies for the selection and payment of its employees. I have addressed a letter to Chairman Fahey of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board, suggesting that he arrange with your Commission to extend as far as possible the application of civil service qualifications with respect to prerequisite experience, education, and other necessary conditions for employment.
I know that your Commission will be very glad to cooperate with the Federal Home Loan Bank Board in applying to every possible position within its organization the principles of the civil service system. I request, therefore, that you take the necessary steps to bring this about in cooperation with the representatives of the Board.
Very sincerely yours,
Hon. Harry B. Mitchell,
President, Civil Service Commission,
My dear Mr. Fahey:
I have given much consideration to the questions we have discussed with respect to the future employment program of the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and its subsidiaries. One of these, the Home Owners Loan Corporation, was organized to meet a financial crisis in the urban home field, and now that the emergency is largely past, it faces the problems incident to gradual reduction of force and a program of gradual liquidation over a period of years.
The Act of 1933 creating this Corporation, as well as the Act of 1932 establishing your Board, placed employment outside the provisions of the Civil Service Act. It will, of course, require action by Congress to bring the positions of your organizations within the competitive classified service.
Now that much of the work of the Board and its subsidiaries has been stabilized, I believe that so far as possible every advantage should be taken of the standards and practices developed under the Civil Service Act of 1883 and the Classification Act of 1923. Pending legislative authority it is appropriate and entirely possible to apply the principles involved in these two statutes to the work of your organization.
I have accordingly addressed a letter to Chairman Mitchell of the Civil Service Commission, expressing my desire that the Commission cooperate fully in rendering all possible assistance to your organization in applying its standards to the work of your Board. It is gratifying that your Board has gone such a long way already in grading and classifying employees and in building an efficient staff, but I am certain that the Civil Service Commission can be helpful in further application of the standards that are common to the regular established organizations of the Federal Government.
Very sincerely yours,
Hon. John H. Fahey,
Chairman, Federal Home Loan Bank Board,
Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letters on the Application of Civil Service Rules to Employees of the Home Owners Loan Corporation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208944