Civil Service Reform: Current System Not Working; Move to New System Unwise

There are calls to reform the civil service (Partnership for Public Service), but the existing civil service is not functioning properly. A number of events urges better implementation of the current civil service and caution about further strengthening authority to an unaccountable management class.


Below is a table of several topics that demonstrate that much needs to be improved under the current rules before thinking of moving to new, untested civil service system.

Civil Service Event Coverage Comment
Artis v. Bernanke, employment discrimination case at the Federal Reserve Board 18 year duration for this case represents systemic failure.
Use of forced distribution at the Federal Reserve Board
Partnership of Public Service argument for civil service reform Group envisions economic punishment of no raises (or self-firing) in its format for forced distribution.
Merit Systems Protection Board and methods to address so-called poor performance Washington Post: Poor performance lives in ambiguity; MSPB does not even attempt to define the term used to damage or end careers.
Commerce GS-15 manager alleged of several incidents of misconduct Washington Post: Commerce Office of Inspector General report:
Fired civil servant who filed complaints with newspaper, his congressional representative and staff, and nonprofit group, shoots and kills security guard and himself Washington Post:
Diversity and inclusion issues at the federal financial regulatory agencies

In general, the situation is grim.
Non-civil-service event but informative–abusive work environment at

The New York Times:

The New York Times: (Supreme Court rules that Amazon does not have to pay employees for time spent in warehouse security lines after end of shift.)


Eye-opening articles