The Civil Service and National Security Personnel Improvement Act
It was twenty-five years ago that this Committee took up the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978. That statute reflected an effort to modernize a personnel system that had not been reformed since 1946, and addressed many of the issues embedded in this bill. Launched in a bipartisan spirit by the Carter-Mondale Administration, the act was designed to create a new era in human resources management. It contained new procedures for pay for performance, accelerated hiring, and waivers for experimentation. It also created the Senior Executive Service, and sought to modernize the outmoded job classification system that governed the hiring and promotion of civil servants.
It is time to pass this bill and begin the next generation of reform. Civil service reform is not a Democratic issue or a Republican issue; it is a good government issue. It should be designed first and foremost to assure that talented Americans have the chance to serve their country. As President Carter argued in 1977, the public deserves a government as good as its people. There is overwhelming empirical evidence that this proposal would advance that cause.