Lyndon B. Johnson photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Revising and Codifying the Government's Personnel Legislation.

September 06, 1966

ELEVEN YEARS ago, the Hoover Commission recommended that we bring all the laws governing Federal employees into a single, logical, easily understandable code.

That was a large order. There were some, in fact, who said it would be easier to map the moon.

I am happy to report that, for once, the lawyers are ahead of the scientists. They have already done for our complicated personnel laws what the scientists are trying to do for the moon: they have given us the big picture.

The overlap, the duplication, the inconsistencies, the double exposures have been eliminated.

We have the total picture. That picture extends from the Revised Statutes of 1874, through the Civil Service Act of 1883 and to all the civil service laws passed over the last 80 years. For the first time, we can have a clear and well-defined picture of all our laws affecting training, pay, vacations and sick leave, employee insurance, and all the other matters so important to Government employees and their families.

It has taken more than a decade to assemble that picture, and it has taken the work of many dedicated and talented people. Chairman Macy tells me that in his nearly 25 years in the Federal Government, he has seen no better example of wholehearted cooperation among all the many agencies which worked on this project. That includes the Civil Service Commission itself, every one of our departments and agencies, and the capable staffs and members of both the House and Senate Committees on the Judiciary.

This bill is a milestone in Federal personnel administration. It is a single package of clear-cut law that is vital to efficient Government operations. It is also a document of personal concern to our Government employees and their families.

So I am particularly pleased that the drafters of this document kept in mind the worker and his livelihood. They wrote in words that will be readily understandable to the more than two million men and women who make up our Federal Government.

This codification I am about to sign is only part of a larger task. There are many other similar jobs to be done. But the one we are signing here today sets a standard of excellence for all of us to imitate. It shows what can be done, and I hope that everyone confronted with a similar task will use it as his model.

Note: The bill revising, codifying, and enacting into positive law existing legislation relating to Government organization and to its civilian officers and employees is Public Law 89-554 (80 Stat. 378).

Lyndon B. Johnson, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Revising and Codifying the Government's Personnel Legislation. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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