Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letters on the Extension of the Merit System in the Civil Service.

June 02, 1937

My dear Mr. Speaker:

I am transmitting copy of letter received from tile Civil Service Commission, in which the statement appears that complete exemption from the merit system is proposed in each of more than seventy bills which have been introduced at this session of Congress.

Government business, of course, should be performed with the highest economy and efficiency in order that the public may have the best service for which it pays; and the public also is entitled to untrammeled opportunity for employment in the transaction of government business. The merit system has been most effective in this connection, and I would, therefore, urge upon the Congress that all but policy-forming positions be placed within its provisions.

Very sincerely yours,

Honorable William B. Bankhead,

The Speaker, House of Representatives,

Washington, D. C.

My dear Mr. Vice President:

I have received a communication from the Civil Service Commission which states that in addition to numerous other bills exempting from the merit system all but minor positions, there have been more than seventy bills introduced in this session of Congress which propose complete exemption for all positions affected thereby. A copy of the Commission's letter is herewith.

Aside from the undoubted fact that the merit system affords the best method for administration of government business, the particular feature of the system which has the greatest appeal is the open competition it provides to the taxpayers to seek the public employment for which they pay. Please let me urge upon the Congress the desirability of placing all but policy-forming positions under the merit system.

Very sincerely yours,

The Honorable,

The Vice President,

Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letters on the Extension of the Merit System in the Civil Service. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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