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The Future of Merit Twenty Years After the Civil Service Reform Act

by James P. Pfiffner

  • ISBN: 9780801864650
  • ISBN10: 0801864658

The Future of Merit Twenty Years After the Civil Service Reform Act

by James P. Pfiffner

  • List Price: $17.95
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins Univ Pr
  • Publish date: 09/01/2000
  • ISBN: 9780801864650
  • ISBN10: 0801864658
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Description: The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 was the most far reaching reform of the federal government personnel system since the merit system was created in 1883. The Future of Merit reviews the aims and rates the accomplishments of the 1978 law and assesses the status of the civil service. How has it held up in the light of the National Performance Review? What will become of it in a globalizing international system or in a government that regards people as customers rather than citizens?

Contributors examine the Senior Executive Service, whose members serve between presidential appointees and the rest of the civil service. These crucial executives must transform legislative and administrative goals into administrative reality, but are often caught between opposing pressures for change and continuity. In the concluding chapter Hugh Heclo, many of whose ideas informed the 1978 reform act, argues that the system today is often more responsive to the ambitions of political appointees and the presidents they serve than to the longer term needs of the polity. On the other hand, the ambition of creating a government-wide cadre of career general managers with highly developed leadership skills has not been fulfilled.

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