Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Civil Service Commission.

January 10, 1969

To the Congress of the United States:

Soon after this report is issued, a new President will assume the burdens of office.

He will come to the Government finding a well-trained and willing career civil service ready, able and anxious to help him perform the many tasks of public administration at home and abroad.

The career civil service took many years to build.

On January 16, 1883, President Chester Arthur signed the Civil Service Act which is now acknowledged as one of the most important pieces of legislation passed in modern times.

That Act abolished the wholesale political patronage system of government jobs. It made permanent the idea of the career public servant, hired on qualifications, promoted on merit, ready to serve without fear of political reprisal or dismissal.

Because of that Act the day-to-day operations of the United States Government will not be interrupted during the transition period between administrations.

Out of the same Civil Service Act of 1883 came the United States Civil Service Commission.

It is this Commission which assists the President in overseeing the operations of much of the Federal civilian personnel system.

It is this Commission which works to maintain continuity and stability in government employment.

And it is this Commission which seeks to help agencies improve the methods by which staff, specialists, administrators and technicians are recruited, trained, paid and promoted.

The Fiscal 1968 report of the Commission is a perceptive document addressed to the key element of our time--change.

During that year the Commission gave new attention to the need to respond to changing times and changing government requirements.

--Increased attention was given to recruiting and training younger career administrators.

--Minority employment increased, accompanied by new stress on equal employment opportunity.

--Vietnam war veterans were given new Federal job opportunities.

--Significant progress was made toward achieving the goal of salary comparability.

--New stress was placed on advanced training and preparation of Federal officials.

--The Executive Assignment System became fully operational.

--New laws opened the way for expanded opportunities for education in the public service for talented and dedicated young Americans.

--Additional efforts were made to provide Federal support for the training of State and local Government employees.

I am pleased to transmit to the Congress the Annual Report of the United States Civil Service Commission for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1968. It speaks of past performance and future promise. I know that the Congress will continue to give strong support to the new President, the Civil Service Commission, and the Executive Departments and Agencies in making the civil service even more effective, efficient and responsive to the Nation's needs.


The White House

January 10, 1969

Lyndon B. Johnson, Message to the Congress Transmitting Annual Report of the Civil Service Commission. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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