OOOOThe Pendleton Act
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enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United
States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is
authorized to appoint, by and with the advice and consent of the
Senate, three persons, not more than two of whom shall be adherents of
thc same party, as Civil Service Commissioners, and said three
commissioners shall constitute the United States Civil Service
Commission. Said commissioners shall hold no other official place
under the United States.
it shall be the duty of said commissioners:
That said commission is authorized to employ a chief examiner, a part of whose duty it shall be, under its direction, to act with the examining boards, so far as practicable, whether at Washington or elsewhere, and to secure accuracy, uniformity, and justice in all their proceedings, which shall be at all times open to him. The chief examiner shall be entitled to receive a salary at the rate of three thousand dollars a year, and he shall be paid his necessary traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of his duty The commission shall have a secretary, to be appointed by the President, who shall receive a salary of one thousand six hundred dollars per annum. It may, when necessary, employ a stenographer, and a messenger, who shall be paid, when employed, the former at the rate of one thousand six hundred dollars a year, and the latter at the rate of six hundred dollars a year. The commission shall, at Washington, and in one or more places in each State and Territory where examinations are to take place, designate and select a suitable number of persons, not less than three, in the official service of the United States, residing in said State or Territory, after consulting the head of the department or office in which such persons serve, to be members of boards of examiners, and may at any time substitute any other person in said service living in such State or Territory in the place of anyone so selected. Such boards of examiners shall be so located as to make it reasonably convenient and inexpensive for applicants to attend before them; and where there are persons to be examined in any State or Territory, examinations shall be held therein at least twice in each year. It shall be the duty of the collector, postmaster, and other officers of the United States at any place outside of the District of Columbia where examinations are directed by the President or by said board to be held, to allow the reasonable use of the public buildings for holding such examinations, and in all proper ways to facilitate the same.
That it shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to cause suitable and convenient rooms and accommodations to be assigned or provided, and to be furnished, heated, and lighted, at the city of Washington, for carrying on the work of said commission and said examinations, and to cause the necessary stationery and other articles to be supplied, and the necessary printing to be done for said commission.
That any said commissioner, examiner, copyist, or messenger, or any person in the public service who shall willfully and corruptly, by himself or in co-operation with one or more other persons, defeat, deceive, or obstruct any person in respect of his or her right of examination according to any such rules or regulations, or who shall willfully, corruptly, and falsely mark, grade, estimate, or report upon the examination or proper standing of any person examined hereunder, or aid in so doing, or who shall willfully and corruptly make any false representations concerning the same or concerning the person examined, or who shall willfully and corruptly furnish to any person any special or secret information for the purpose of either improving or injuring the prospects or chances of any person so examined, or to be examined, being appointed, employed, or promoted, shall for each such offense be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars, nor more than one thousand dollars, or by imprisonment not less than ten days, nor more than one year, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
within sixty days after the passage of this act it shall be the duty
of the Secretary of the Treasury, in as near conformity as may be to
the classification of certain clerks now existing under the one
hundred and sixty-third section of the Revised Statutes to arrange in
classes the several clerks and persons employed by the collector,
naval officer, surveyor, and appraisers, or either of them, or being
in the public service, at their respective offices in each customs
district where the whole number of said clerks and persons shall be
all together as many as fifty. And thereafter, from time to time, on
the direction of the President, said Secretary shall make the like
classification or arrangement of clerks and persons so employed, in
connection with any said office or offices, in any other customs
district. And, upon like request, and for the purposes of this act,
said Secretary shall arrange in one or more of said classes, or of
existing classes, any other clerks, agents, or persons employed under
his department in any said district not now classified; and every such
arrangement and classification upon being made shall be reported to
That after the expiration of six months from the passage of this act no officer or clerk shall be appointed, and no person shall be employed to enter or be promoted in either of the said classes now existing, or that may be arranged hereunder pursuant to said rules, until he has passed an examination, or is shown to be specially exempted from such examination in conformity herewith. But nothing herein contained shall be construed to take from those honorably discharged from the military or naval service any preference conferred by the seventeen hundred and fifty-fourth section of the Revised Statutes, nor to take from the President any authority not inconsistent with this act conferred by the seventeen hundred and fifty-third section of said statutes; nor shall any officer not in the executive branch of the government, or any person merely employed as a laborer or workman, be required to be classified hereunder; nor, unless by direction of the Senate, shall any person who has been nominated for confirmation by the Senate be required to be classified or to pass an examination.
That no person habitually using intoxicating beverages to excess shall be appointed to, or retained in, any office, appointment, or employment to which the provisions of this act are applicable.
That whenever there are already two or more members of a family in the public service in the grades covered by this act, no other member of such family shall be eligible to appointment to any of said grades.
That no recommendation of any person who shall apply for office or place under the provisions of this act which may be given by any Senator or member of the House of Representatives, except as to the character or residence of the applicant, shall be received or considered by any person concerned in making any examination or appointment under this act.
That no Senator, or Representative, or Territorial Delegate of the Congress, or Senator, Representative, or Delegate elect, or any officer or employee of either of said houses, and no executive, judicial, military, or naval officer of the United States, and no clerk or employee of any department, branch or bureau of the executive, judicial, or military or naval service of the United States, shall, directly or indirectly, solicit or receive, or be in any manner concerned ill soliciting or receiving, any assessment, subscription, or contribution for any political purpose whatever, from any officer, clerk, or employee of the United States, or any department, branch, or bureau thereof, or from any person receiving any salary or compensation from moneys derived from the Treasury of the United States.
That no person shall, in any room or building occupied in the discharge of official duties by any officer or employee of the United States mentioned in this act, or in any navy-yard, fort, or arsenal, solicit in any manner whatever, or receive any contribution of money or any other thing of value for any political purpose whatever.
No officer or employee of the United States mentioned m this act shall discharge, or promote, or degrade, or in manner change the official rank or compensation of any other officer or employee, or promise or threaten so to do, for giving or withholding or neglecting to make any contribution of money or other valuable thing for any political purpose.
That no officer, clerk, or other person in the service of the United States shall, directly or indirectly, give or hand over to any other officer, clerk, or person in the service of the United States, or to any Senator or Member of the House of Representatives, or Territorial Delegate, any money or other valuable thing on account of or to be applied to the promotion of any political object whatever.
That any person who shall be guilty of violating any provision of the four foregoing sections shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and shall, on conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars, or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years, or by such fine and imprisonment both, in the discretion of the court.
Approved, January 16, 1883.
Pendleton Act [Our Documents, The Library of Congress]
The Pendleton Act [Wadsworth Publishing, The Thompson Corporation]
Backgrounder on the Pendleton Act [United States Department of State]
Civil Service Reform: Senate Debates [Tara L. Dirst, Northern Illinois University]
Civil Service Reform [Ari Hoogenboom, The Reader's Companion to American History, Houghton-Mifflin]
Spoils System [The Reader's Companion to American History, Houghton-Mifflin]
Corruption [Edwin G. Burrows, The Reader's Companion to American History, Houghton-Mifflin]
The Gilded Age: Civil Service Reform [Digital History]
Origins of Campaign Finance Reform: Early Reform Proposals [CallForReform.org]
In Politics Money Talks - And Keeps Talking, Despite Reforms [Steve Padilla, Latimes.com, Hoover Institute]
Chester Allan Arthur [University of Maryland, Baltimore County]
Chester Allan Arthur: Domestic Affairs [AmericanPresidents.org]
George Hunt Pendleton [BookRags.com]
George Hunt Pendleton [1911Encyclopedia.com]