Lesson US/Lithuanian Civil Service

United States Civil Service

1. In the United States, the civil service was established in 1872. The Federal Civil Service covers positions in the executive, judicial, and legislative branches of the Government of the United States. Positions in the uniformed services are not included into civil service system.

2. In the early 19th century, government jobs were held at the pleasure of the president—a person could be fired at any time. There existed the so-called spoil system. In the politics of the United States, a spoil system set out an informal practice where a political party, after winning an election, gave government jobs to its voters as a reward for working toward victory. This meant that jobs were used to support the political parties. However, this practice was changed in slow stages by the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883 and subsequent laws. By 1909, almost 2/3 of the U.S. federal work force was appointed based on merit, that is, qualifications measured by tests. Yet, certain senior civil service positions, including some heads of diplomatic missions and executive agencies are filled by political appointees. Under the Hatch Act of 1939, civil servants are not allowed to engage in political activities while performing their duties.

3. The U.S. civil service includes the Competitive service and the Excepted service. The majority of civil service appointments in the U.S. are made under the Competitive Service, but certain categories in the Diplomatic Service, the FBI, and other National Security positions are made under the Excepted Service.

The competitive service is a part of the United States federal government civil service. Applicants for jobs in the competitive civil service must compete with other applicants in open competition under the merit system administered by the Office of Personnel Management.

However, some agencies (and some positions within other agencies) are excluded from these provisions. Although they primarily operate on a merit basis also, they have their own hiring systems and evaluation criteria. These agencies are called excepted service agencies and such positions are part of the excepted civil service. Excepted service agencies include those which carry national security and/or intelligence functions, such as the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of State, the National Security Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Attorney positions and Foreign Service positions are examples of positions excepted across-the-board in all Federal agencies.

U.S. state and local government entities often have competitive civil service systems that are modeled on the national system, in varying degrees.

4. United States civil service system uses a General Schedule (GS) scheme to describe a pay scale utilized by the majority of white-collar personnel in the civil service of the federal government of the United States. The term white-collar worker refers to a salaried professional or an educated worker who performs semi-professional office, administrative, and sales coordination tasks, as opposed to a blue-collar worker, whose job requires manual labor. The GS includes most professional, technical, administrative, and clerical positions in the federal civil service.

5. The GS is separated into 15 grades (GS-1, GS-2, etc. up to GS-15); each grade is separated into 10 steps. Entry-level positions are generally in the GS 1–7 range; GS 8–12, mid-level; and GS 13–15, top-level. A new GS employee is normally employed in the first step of their assigned GS grade, although recent legislation authorizes initial appointment at a higher step. Each step above 1 is normally earned after serving a prescribed period of service (at one, two or three year intervals) in at least a satisfactory manner, although a GS employee can also be advanced to a higher step without regard to length of service based on outstanding work performance.

6. Some GS positions provide for advancement within a "career ladder". This means that an incumbent can climb up the career ladder in a particular job, normally on an annual basis, until he/she has reached the full performance level for that job. This is typical for many professional positions designed for college graduates. For example, a recent college graduate with a bachelor's degree may take a GS position at either the GS-5 or GS-7 level, depending on the job itself, the individual's academic achievement, prior experience and other factors. After a certain period (e.g. one year time) if the employee performs successfully in his/her job, management most likely will promote the employee to the next grade in the ladder. Most career ladders advance in two-grade intervals, from GS-5 to GS-7, from GS-7 to GS-9, and from GS-9 to GS-11. For example, this usually applies to IT professionals. After one has reached GS-11 in a career ladder, promotions then progress normally in one-grade intervals (e.g., from GS-11 to GS-12, from GS-12 to GS-13) until the full performance level has been reached. In most cases the full performance target grade for a career ladder will range from GS-11 to GS-13. Promotions to GS-14 and GS-15 are almost always the result of competition for a vacant position.

7. In recent years, there have been several attempts to eliminate the GS and replace it with various pay systems which emphasize "pay for performance" (i.e., a system in which pay increases are based more on merit and work performance and less on seniority and length of service). The pay structure which enables this is typically known as pay banding. The best known efforts in this area are the pay systems created for the US Departments of Homeland Security and Defense.


Adapted from:

Civil service. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:10, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_service

Spoils system. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 10:45, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoils_system

Competitive service. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 11:05, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Competitive_service

Excepted service. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:05, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Excepted_service

White-collar worker. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:15, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_collar

General Schedule. (2009 01 11). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 14:20, January 11, 2009, from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Schedule

Public Service in Lithuania

1. Public service means legal relations arising after the acquisition of the status of a public servant.

Public servant means a natural person, who performs duties in the public service and carries out the public administrative activities.

2. The general management of the public service is performed by the Government of Lithuania and the Minister of the Interior. The Government implements the policy of the public service and performs other functions of the general management of the public service. The Minister of Interior submits to the Government draft legal acts related to the public service, coordinates control over the implementation of the Law on Public Service and performs other functions of the general management of the public service of Lithuania.

3. The public service in Lithuania is based on the principles of the rule of law, equality, loyalty, political neutrality, transparency, responsibility for decisions taken and career development.

The basic principles of ethics of public servants in Lithuania are:

1) respect for man and the State. This means that a public servant must respect man and the fundamental human rights and freedoms, the Constitution, the State, its institutions and agencies, laws, other legal acts and court judgements.

2) justice. A public servant must equally serve all residents irrespective of their nationality, race, sex, language, origin, social status, religious believes and political views.

3) disinterestedness. A public servant must observe the public interests, not seek benefit for himself, his family and friends while carrying out official duties.

4) decency. A public servant must behave impeccably, be incorruptible, and refuse gifts or services, exceptional privileges and concessions from persons or organizations while carrying out his official duties.

5) impartiality. A public servant must be objective and avoid personalities in taking decisions.

6) responsibility. A public servant must be personally responsible for his decisions and account for them to the public.

7) publicity. A public servant must ensure the publicity of the decisions and actions


8) exemplariness. A public servant must be tolerant, respectful and orderly, as well as a person of integrity.

4. Public servants in Lithuania can occupy the positions of career public servants, public servants of political (personal) confidence, public managers and acting public servants.

The positions of public servants are grouped into three categories:

1) category “A” comprises positions where higher university education or equivalent education is required,

2) category “B” comprises positions where education not lower than higher non-university education or equivalent education is required,

3) category “C” comprises positions where education not lower than secondary education and an appropriate professional qualification is required.

The positions of public servants are divided into 20 grades. Grade 20 is the highest one and grade 1 is the lowest one.

5. There are 4 key requirements to admit any person to the public service of Lithuania:

1) the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania,

2) proficiency in the Lithuanian language,

3) age limit (between 18 years of age and 62 years and 6 months of age),

4) education necessary to hold the office of a public servant of that category.

The following person is not eligible for the office of a public servant:

1) the one found guilty of a major crime or a crime against the public service in accordance with the procedure prescribed by laws, and whose conviction has not expired or been expunged,

2) the one whose right to hold the office of a public servant has been restrained by court,

3) the one whose spouse, close relative holds the office of a public servant at a state or municipal institution or agency, and they are related by direct subordination according to their offices held,

4) the one recognized legally incapable in accordance with the procedure prescribed by laws,

5) the one who is a member of an organization that is prohibited in accordance with the procedure prescribed by laws,

6) in cases stipulated by other laws.

6. Public servants have the duties and rights which are stipulated by laws of the Republic of Lithuania. Among general duties that have to be followed by a public servant the following are of key importance:

1) comply with the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Lithuania and be loyal to the State of Lithuania,

2) respect human rights and freedoms, serve the public interests,

4) perform the functions specified in the job,

5) adhere to the principles and rules of ethics of public servants,

6) follow the internal regulations of state and municipal institutions and agencies,

7) learn in accordance with the procedure prescribed by this Law,

8) refrain from using work related information otherwise than set forth by laws,

9) refrain from using state or municipal property for activities not related to work;

Public servants have the following rights which are set out by laws and other legal acts of Lithuania:

1) right to a career in the public service according to their qualifications,

2) right to receive remuneration,

3) right to training,

4) right to holidays,

5) right to a state social insurance pension, social and other guarantees,

6) right to strike, except for public servants holding the office of the head of a department at a state or municipal institution or agency or senior positions,

7) right to membership in trade unions, organizations or associations, also to membership in political parties, and to participation in political activities not during office (work) time.


Adapted from:

Republic of Lithuania Law on Public Service. (2009 03 01) In Republic of Lithuania Law. Amending the Law on Public Service. Retrieved (21:30, March 01, 2009, from http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/NISPAcee/UNPAN012617.pdf