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classified service since the passage of the civil-service act of 1883 has proceeded at a far greater rate than the increase in population during the same period and than the increase in numbers in the entire civil service.

The civil-service act, approved on January 16, 1883, first applied to the departments at Washington and to the post offices and customhouses having as many as 50 employees, the classification at first embracing 13,294 employees. The commission consisted of three commissioners, a chief examiner, secretary, stenographer, and messenger, at a total expense for salaries of $17,300. In 1885, an increase was granted of $2,260, and under the first administration of President Cleveland, $10,150. Under President Harrison there was an increase granted of $7,350, and at the close of his administration the classified service had increased to 43,000 positions, while since then it has multiplied nearly eight times.

The present force of the commission consists of 184 clerks and examiners, and 24 custodian employees at Washington, and 12 district secretaries, 32 clerks, and 5 examiners in the field service, while the number of competitive positions is about 325,000.

On September 21, 1917, the commission was granted an allotment of $250,000 by the President from the appropriation given him to provide for the national security and defense. Under this appropriation 78 additional employees are employed temporarily. Fiftytwo persons have been temporarily detailed from the different departments to the office of the district secretary of the commission at Washington, and 103 persons to the offices of the other district secretaries of the commission, making a total of 487 persons serving under the commission.

In its estimates for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 1918, the commission asks for an increase in salaries for its force at Washington of $199,970, and for its field force of $11,800, and for expert examiners $1,000, making a total salary increase of $212,770. It also asks for an increase of $10,000 for traveling expenses, of $20,000 for printing and binding, of $12,000 for contingent expenses, $7,500 for stationery, making a total increase of $262,270 over its appropriation for the current year, which is $452,535.

This increase is necessary to take the place of the fund allotted to the commission by the President and in order that the commission may not be required to undertake the added duties imposed upon it by war conditions with the meager facilities of normal times. In addition to the supply of eligibles which it was ordinarily required to furnish, the commission, since war was declared, has supplied the departments concerned with military preparations more than a hundred thousand employees of tested character and abilities. In many departments a class of eligibles not ordinarily required in

governmental activities has been called for, making necessary the preparation and holding of many hundreds of new examinations to appropriately test the qualifications and fitness of applicants.

The commission again asks for an increase of pay for its supervisory officers. The salaries of members of the commission are much smaller than the salaries of other commissioners and heads of offices directly responsible to the President and Congress. The chief examiner, the secretary, the district secretaries, and chiefs of division under the commission are all men who have served long and faithfully, and risen by promotion, and the commission can not too strongly commend them for their meritorious service. During the past few years the commission has recommended increases of salary for these supervisory officers as a matter of simple justice. Their salaries were fixed at a time when the work of the commission was far less in volume and complexity. The large extension of the work and their increased supervisory duties make it just that they be given salaries more in keeping with their responsibilities and commensurate with those of like positions in other parts of the service. We have the honor to be, Very respectfully,



The White House.




Inviting attention particularly to the paragraphs concerning the war activities of the commission, the following report is respectfully submitted of the work done under the supervision of the chief examiner during the fiscal year ended June 30, 1917.

The following table shows the number of persons examined and appointed during

the year:

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The following table shows how the number of persons examined and appointed were distributed between the field service and the departmental service in Washington.

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In addition to the foregoing, certain examinations were held for services not in the classified service of the United States, with the following results:

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1 Report showing the results of the examinations of all persons for designation as cadet or midshipman s made to the Member of Congress for whom such examination is held.

2 The work of the commission in connection with examinations for entrance to the Naval Academy is confined to the conduct of examinations, the papers for the examinations being furnished by the Navy Department and returned to that department as soon as received by the commission from the various examination places.

8 The work of the commission in connection with examinations for these positions was confined to the conduct of examinations, the papers for the examinations being furnished by the Department of Commerce and returned to that department as soon as received by the commission from the various examination places.

There were 460 different kinds of educational examinations held, according to the title or kind of positions, as compared with 367 during the preceding year. The noneducational type of examination was given for a large number of different kinds of mechanical trades positions; but the form of examination being the same for each kind of position, the number of different titles is omitted from this report.

In the paragraphs which follow it has been thought best to take up first general matters and close the report with a brief presentation of the commission's war work.


Under the topic “Problems and Looking Forward” in my last report a brief statement was made as to each of four problems then under consideration. Of these, three are mentioned herein as having present interest.

The difficulty which had been experienced in securing qualified men stenographers and typewriters broadened this spring to include women as well, owing to the heavy demand occasioned by the entrance of the United States into the war. To meet this demand the frequency of examinations was increased until it reached one a week throughout the country; and the departments on their part began to recognize the necessity under present conditions of paying stenographers and typewriters more than the usual entrance salary for clerks of $900 per annum. At the close of the fiscal year the commission was filling all requisitions for eligibles.

Further consideration was given to the problem involved in devising means to correct as far as possible the errors which are sometimes committed by the commission's examiners in giving the stenography dictation tests. The errors have not at any time been sufficiently numerous or widespread to indicate any general defect in the system; but the thought was to improve the system wherever possible to eliminate even the occasional errors. Proper consideration of the effect of such experiments as were made during the year has not been possible, owing to the outbreak of the war and the resulting efforts of the commission to provide great numbers of qualified civilian employees. It is believed, however, that the practice which the local boards are getting now in the weekly examination will itself tend to reduce the number of



In connection with prescribing a more rigid physical standard for entrance to the service, this office was in consultation with the Workmen's Compensation Commission appointed in the latter half of the fiscal year, but at present there is not sufficient data at hand to make definite recommendations as to whether or not such action should be taken.

FRAUDS, DEBARMENTS, It is not surprising that among 200,000 persons examined annually by the commission there should be some who would attempt to enter the Government service through fraud; but it is surprising that even court officers, sworn to support the laws, are sometimes inclined to view the offenses lightly, if not practically to condone them.

A person who commits fraud in a college examination, for example, harms only himself, but the one who is successful in a competitive examination under the civilservice law wins a position justly belonging to another, and in addition defrauds the Government of the services of an employee immeasurably superior in honesty and integrity.

Prosecution is recommended in only the serious cases, and it is disheartening to have the prosecution instituted in such cases virtually fail by reason apparently of lack of appreciation of their gravity. One such case was that of 20 or 30 young men conspiring together in Chicago to make false statements in material matters in connection with their examinations. The commission had no expectation and no desire that extreme penalty be imposed, but it was thought highly desirable that these young men be made to appreciate the necessity of observing the laws. In

stead of this, however, a result beneficial to the public was lost by sentences of l-cent fine and two minutes in the custody of the marshal.

During the year 337 persons were barred from examinations for fraudulent practices, 168 of them for making false statements in their applications. Some of the more common offenses for which applicants were debarred, and the number debarred for the reasons stated, are as follows: Offering of bribe, 6; attempted use of helps in examination, 9; collusion with other competitors, 16; fraudulent vouchers, medical certificates, etc., 52; attempting to traffic in appointments, 12; impersonation, 8. In addition the commission found it necessary to rule that it would not accept medical certificates in future from 11 physicians whose certificates as to physical condition had proved to be grossly unreliable.

The commission submitted to the Department of Justice 21 cases for prosecution because of serious violations of the civil-service act, such as bribery, impersonation, forgery, or conspiracy. Three typical cases are the following:

Forest W. Dean, of Columbus, Ohio, filed application for examination for the position of assistant in dry-land arboriculture. Applicants for this examination were required to deliver a thesis to the examiner on the day of the examination. Dean submitted a thesis, together with a sworn statement, as required under the terms of the announcement, to the effect that in the preparation of the thesis the composition was entirely his own and that he had given full credit, by quotation marks or references to authorities, for any quoted matter. It was found that the entire thesis was practically a verbatim copy of a bulletin issued by the Forestry Service and that in no place in the thesis were there any quotation marks to indicate that the thesis was not original. Dean was indicted on June 26, 1917, pleaded guilty, and was sentenced to pay a fine of $200.

Another case was that of a New York applicant for examination for rodman and chainman in the Interstate Commerce Commission in April, 1914; for surveyman, Engineer Department at large, in November, 1914; for subinspector, navy yard service, on March 25, 1915; and for inspector, Engineer Department at large, in December, 1916. In each of these applications he stated that he was a graduate in civil engineering of Valparaiso University. This statement was questioned, a letter being addressed to the Valparaiso University, to which the dean replied that the applicant was not a graduate in civil engineering from that institution. The applicant claimed to have been a graduate, apparently with a view to improving his chances for appointment to the service. The case was referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution under section 125 of the Criminal Code, but report has not yet been received as to its outcome.

A man in Boston, Mass., filed application and obtained employment in 1902 as blacksmith's helper at the Boston Navy Yard under one name. In his application he stated that he was born March 4, 1877; that he was a citizen of the United States, and that he served in the United States Army from July 20 to September 22, 1898. He resigned from the navy yard service November 13, 1915. On May 9, 1916, an application was received from him under another name. Employment was offered him, and when he reported for duty he was recognized as the person who had formerly worked at the yard under the other name. In his application filed in 1916, he stated that he was born in New Brunswick, Canada, March 4, 1882, and that he had never been in the military or naval service of the United States. When questioned by a representative of the commission he admitted that he had never served in the Army; that he had used his brother's Army discharge because he thought it might give him preference in employment, and that he did not obtain his final naturalization certificate until 1906, so that he was not a citizen of the United States at the time of his appointment. The matter was presented to the Department of Justice on March 27, 1917, and later the grand jury found a true bill. The case has not yet been tried.

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