Gerald R. Ford photo

Memorandum on the Career Civil Service.

September 20, 1974


Whatever else, recent experience has proven one thing about the Federal Government: It can continue to function and move ahead even under the most difficult circumstances. This is due chiefly to more than two million career civil servants who, day-in and day-out, give of themselves in a thoroughly dedicated and efficient manner to assure this continuity.

These men and women act in the best traditions of the career civil service which has demanded from them for more than 90 years the highest degree of professionalism and competence. In return, it has assured them of a competitive system free from political considerations either in their appointments or in their promotions.

I intend to keep it that way--and I call upon you to see to it that the merit principles contained in the Civil Service Act and the personnel laws and regulations are fully and effectively carried out in your department or agency. Appointments and promotions in the career service must not be made on the basis of either politics, race, creed or sex.

I have informed the Chairman of the United States Civil Service Commission of my determination to keep the Federal career service just that--a career service in which men and women can be accepted in the first place on their ability and promoted on their merit. I ask you to make sure your agency fully complies with both the letter and the spirit of the law in this regard.


Gerald R. Ford, Memorandum on the Career Civil Service. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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