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Reforming the US Civil Service (Essay Sample)


It is argued that for the U.S. federal workforce to be more efficient and effective in facing the challenges of the 21st century that significant government reform must occur. Researchers argue that the reform should focus on modernizing a number of governance areas to include the to include the civil service and contract workforce. Is it time to reform the federal civil service so that it resembles the private sector? Can the American public be confident of the fairness and integrity of a civil service that uses human resources practices like those typical of the private sector?


Reforming the US Civil Service
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Reforming the US Civil Service
Undoubtedly, the Civil Service in the United States has served the country well. However, it is seemingly obsolete and needs to be reformed to reflect the 21st-century market dynamics. The civil service has benefitted from the introduction of technology and the massive growth in talent (Karmack, 2017). However, it still uses outdated approaches to recruitment, human resource management, operations management, competition for talent, compensation, and leadership. Indeed, the personnel and operations management systems are obsolete, negatively affecting its efficiency (Sifuna-Evelia, 2017). The United States federal workforce can be effective and efficient in facing the 21st-century challenges if it is reformed to modernize it, ensuring that several governance areas resemble the private sector.
The civil service was not built tor a government of professionals. Indeed, it was created for the bureaucracy that has characterized the American public service for decades. It was built for the clerks who worked on paper systems and primitive machinery such as card readers, public service workers who physically kept track of everything (Karmack, 2017). However, these primitive systems have been replaced by computers and other technologies. In addition, the public service in the United States has one of the most highly educated workforces. Notably, the public sector has more educated workers than the private, with at least 20 percent in the civil service having one or more degrees compared with 1red with 13 percent in the private sector (Karmack, 2017). However, the private sector is more efficient and effective than civil services because its systems and practices can respond to 21st-century realities and challenges.
Reforming the civil service to resemble the private sector is the main step to modernize it and make it compliant with the 21st-century marketplace. The first step is to reform the Federal General Schedule classification, which has been in place for decades (Karmack, 2017). Notably, the classifications on the General Schedule do not reflect the role of the 21st-century processional. For example, it is federal occupations, and federal pay does not match. In the private sector, pay is based on one's occupation and performance and not job class. However, the General Schedule in the civil service ensures that one pay depends on their job class, a class based on experience and years of service (Sifuna-Evelia, 2017). Reforming the general schedule to make sure that talent is compensated based on performance would make the civil service more competitive and attract talent, increasing its effectiveness and efficiency.
Another aspect of the civil service that needs to be reformed to comply with the 21st-century challenges and realities is the recruitment systems. Indeed, the civil service employs people permanently. A civil servant once employed remains in the civil service until retirement or when they resign or exit due to disciplinary issues. As a result, the civil service is full of non-performing workers and others who are too old to function in the 21st century (Sifuna-Evelia, 2017). Unlike in the private sector, where performance determines one's length of service, the civil service does not have systems of getting rid of non-performing workers. This situation can be changed through the introduction of a contract workforce. The civil service should be employed on a contract basis (Sifuna-Evelia, 2017). The contract should be renewable after a certain period, and only those who meet the performance standard set by their employers get their contracts renewed. A contract workforce would make the civil service more competitive. Besides, emphasis on performance would improve the efficiency and effectiveness of employees.
The American public can be confident of the fairness and integrity of a civil service that uses human resource practices like the private sector because of the emphasis on performance, responsibility, integrity, and responsibility. Reforms would introduce biblical guidelines to running human resource functions, including an emphasis on integrity and professionalism. Reforming the civil service to resemble the private sector would make its employees more responsible and responsive to the needs of the public. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, Paul writes, "Whoever does not work should not eat" (Henley, 2016). Similarly, whoever does not perform as per laid out standards should not keep their job. Introducing private sector standards in the civil service would ensure that only those who work eat.
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