WASHINGTON—Partnership for Public Service President and CEO Max Stier released the following statement on today’s passage of S. 1580, the Competitive Service Act of 2015:
“Congress has taken an important first step today towards modernizing our outdated civil service system. The Competitive Service Act of 2015 will allow new talent to overcome barriers to entering public service and better enable our government to recruit top talent and quickly fill mission-critical positions in fields ranging from cybersecurity to veterans health care. This bipartisan legislation is a common-sense way of treating our government as a single enterprise trying to achieve shared goals, rather than a disconnected collection of many agencies competing for the same talent.
I congratulate Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), as well as Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), for their hard work and leadership on this important effort.”
Previously, agencies with similar hiring needs were unable to share assessments of applicants with one another, adding needless duplication and cost to the hiring process. The Competitive Service Act will enable agencies to share this information and provide qualified candidates not selected for a position at one agency with opportunities to be considered for a similar job at another agency.
The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service released a comprehensive report in April 2014 calling for major reforms to the government’s decades-old civil service system, laying out a plan to modernize outdated hiring policies and other personnel practices. “Building the Enterprise: A New Civil Service Framework” calls the federal personnel system, the foundation for effective government, obsolete and in crisis, and an obstacle rather than an aid in attracting, hiring, retaining and developing top talent.