US Civil Service’s Features Establishment
The precipitating cause for the reforms package has been the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled office-seeker during 1883. This was the culmination of the prevailing chaos and public apathy in the public administration system during that time and also the inadequacy of the government to deal adequately with these critical issues. Political favoring of candidates in federal government recruitment, rampant corruption, and high-handedness, loss of public trust, and confidence in the administrative system were all major factors that clamored for reforms. Besides, an inept and weak government was happy-hunting grounds for many corrupt officials and politicians, who took full advantage of these ineptitudes to wreak havoc on the system and all it stood for. The time for robust and sustainable reforms was long overdue, perhaps late, and it was seen that the Civil reforms systems, in the form of this Pendleton package, were the first, in the series of reform measures, that needed to address the ills in the system, constructively and positively.
Although US Congress made several attempts to reform the Civil Service segments, nothing concrete could come through due to the prevailing deficiencies in the system and lack of concerted efforts. Way back in 1871, President Ulysses S.Grant formulated the Civil Service Commission (CSC) with the intention of streamlining the recruitment procedures, but, thanks to Congress pulling back its economic support, this scheme could not see the light of day. It was perhaps the killing of President Garfield that set the ball rolling against dissidents to such kinds of civil reforms, and it was finally assented by Congress. It set into motion a chain of events that was intended and also succeeded in changing the face of the civil service gamut in the country and pressed forth the need for implementation of robust measures and laws that virtually signaled the end of gamesmanship and political interference in the civil service arena in the United States. Thus, the main reason why civil service reforms were instituted during 1873 was to usher in democratic and ethical values into this segment of public administration and void it of the pervading ills and corruptions that had come to institutionalize corruption and disdain for public morality in the civil services.