New York City's Civil Service System in 2012: Analysis and Recommendations

Client: Citizens Union
Faculty: Charles Brecher
Team: Sarah Church, Lyz Crane, Cinthia Ruiz, Johanna Ryan, Haley Zernich
Year: 2012
The New York City civil service system was developed to overcome patronage and corruption that threatened the ability of city governance to effectively and efficiently meet the needs of citizens. Over time, conflict has grown about the best way to execute system goals and to balance the needs of stakeholders. Recent attempts to address inefficiencies in the system have often failed to take into consideration key perspectives and feasibility. The Capstone team researched the history and current state of the civil service system for a report to Citizens Union, a nonpartisan civic organization dedicated to promoting good government and advancing political reform in New York. Through the investigation of best practices in other jurisdictions, the potential impact of existing reform proposals, and the needs of a broad spectrum of city stakeholders, the team developed policy recommendations that seek to overcome polarized politics, maximize feasibility, and promote effectiveness, efficiency, and equity within the city’s civil service system.