Brookings Publishes Civil Service Reform Guide

July 31, 1996

Brookings Publishes Civil Service Reform Guide

The Brookings Institution has published a new book on rebuilding the federal civil service system. While such reform, the book's authors concede, "can seem the most boring issue in the world, it is critical because it permeates everything the government does." They make 10 recommendations for improving the current system:

  • Redesign the federal government's central personnel agency.
  • Ensure flexibility in choosing how to do government's work.
  • Rely on whoever, inside or outside government, can best produce the government's goods and services.
  • Insist on accountability for results.
  • Manage government's producers by new forms of contract.
  • Reward good performance through performance-based compensation.
  • Equip government with a powerful core.
  • Build a culture of performance through career development and rotation through different work.
  • Cultivate a culture of public service.
  • Integrate the civil service system more tightly into the federal government's other management systems.

The book was written by Donald F. Kettl, director of the LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Patricia W. Ingraham, professor of public administration and political science and director of the Campbell Institut e of Public Affairs at Syracuse University; Ronald P. Sanders, director of the Maxwell Center for Advanced Public Management in Washington; and Constance Horner, former director of the Office of Personnel Management.

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