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13 Sept. 1872.
House of Commons, on the 4th of August, relative to the position of writers employed in public departments.
Their Lordships learn from the Chancellor of the Exchequer that the statement alluded to in your report was of a much more limited character than the applicants' reference to it assumes.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer was not speaking of any general system whereby temporary writers were, as vacancies occur, to be converted into members of the permanent Civil Service, but of a particular class of cases, incident to periods of transition, where the work assigned to writers is discovered to be such as ought to be given to established clerks, and where writers, who have been doing it for some time in a satisfactory manner, are recommended by the heads of departments as fit for the clerkships which are to be created, and are able and willing to pass for admission into them a suitable test examination.
In all cases where either the department is included in Schedule A. of the Order in Council of 4th June 1870, or (as must generally be the case) the writer is over the age fixed for admission into the service, the Lords of the Treasury, supposing them to have consented to the increase of establishment, must further be applied to for their consent to the application of Clause VII. of the same Order to such cases.
Before giving such consent my Lords would look to see what reason any writer so recommended had had to expect any such advancement, and they would not be disposed to suspend the ordinary rules of admission into the department in favour of any writer who, besides satisfying the conditions stated above, had not also something to plead in the way of expectations either held out to him in express terms, or created and encouraged by the receipt of progressive wages. It would obviously be out of the question for the Government to withdraw from the public any portion of those offices which are now open to competition, to the great promotion of education and improvement of the Civil Service.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer was speaking of writers engaged on terms which are no longer continued, and of the means which occasional changes in the organization of departments offer of relieving such men.
It is evident that such a statement as this does not warrant individual writers in making application for promotion to vacancies, but is only an intimation to the heads of departments that whenever a writership has to be converted into a clerkship, there is an opportunity of considering the writer who occupies the post if at the time when he began to serve in the department the then existing rules were more in his favour than
29 Feb. 1876.
Circular issued by the Lords of the Treasury to the heads of the various public departments with reference to the Order in Council of the 12th February 1876
Treasury Chambers, Whitehall, 29th February 1876.
I AM directed by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to call your attention to the 12th clause of the Order in Council of the 12th instant further regulating Her Majesty's Civil Service.
My Lords think it advisable to give effect as soon as possible to the 12th clause, in all departments where there is an opportunity for promoting to clerkships of the new lower division writers who are qualified for such promotion by their age and standing, and are judged to be deserving of it by the heads of the departments in which they are serving.
It will be observed (clause 19) that "mere copying and routine work "done under direct supervision" is to continue to be assigned to persons engaged on the same conditions of service as have been heretofore in 29 Feb. 1876. force for Civil Service writers. Although, therefore, clerkships are not to be created for the sake simply of providing means of promotion for writers who have no higher work than this to perform, yet no writers should be allowed to continue to perform higher work than this, and clerkships of the new lower division should at once be created to the extent that is necessary for performing all such higher work as is now assigned to writers.
To take an example. Suppose that at the present time 12 writers are employed in a department, and that besides mere copying and routine work they are performing such a quantity of higher work as would, if separated from the rest, employ three clerks of the new lower division, in that case three such clerkships should at once be created, but before they are thrown open to competition the head of the department may, if he sees fit, select for promotion to them any writers actually serving in the department who fulfil the conditions of clause 12 and possess the necessary qualifications and merit. No writer can claim such promotion as of right. Clerkships not filled up by the promotion of writers will remain for the Civil Service Commissioners to fill up by open competition.
My Lords think it important to fix a limit within which all claims of existing writers for promotion under clause 12 must be settled, and with this view they have fixed 31st August next as the date beyond which they will decline to give their consent (required under clause 7 of the Order in Council of 4th June 1870) to the special admission of any such candidates.
It will, of course, be understood that, as the substitution of clerks of the lower division for writers involves an extension of the establishment, the first step to be taken is to submit a proposal to the Treasury stating precisely how many of such clerkships it is proposed to create at once, and why.
The more general substitution which Mr. Playfair's Commission contemplates of clerks of the lower division for the existing establishments is a further question which will gradually come under review as clause 4 of the recent Order in Council begins to operate. But the cases to which clause 12 refers constitute a special and temporary class, which, for its own sake, should be disposed of without delay, at the same time it affords an opportunity of beginning to put the Order in Council into force.
I have, &c.
Circular issued by the Lords of the Treasury to the Heads of the various public departments with reference to transfers of Clerks of the Lower Division from one department to another.
Treasury Chambers, Whitehall,
I AM directed by the Lords Commissioners of the Treasury to call your attention to the following notice, which is published in the "London Gazette" of 3rd November 1876 (p. 5858), viz. :—
"The Lords Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury give notice, that transfers of clerks of the lower division, appointed in pursuance of the Order of Her Majesty in Council dated the 12th day of February
20 March 1877.
20 March 1877.
Examination of office keep
ers, messengers, &c.
1876, from one department to another of the Public Service require to be notified to the Treasury for previous approval, and also to the Civil Service Commissioners, in like manner as if such clerks had been appointed under the earlier conditions of the service, with this exception, that they will not be required to pass any further examination provided the situations to which they are transferred have been recognised by the Treasury as proper to be included in the lower division."
The Civil Service Commissioners have called the attention of my Lords to a case in which a transfer of clerks from one department to another, after being sanctioned by the Treasury, was carried into effect before notice was given to the Civil Service Commissioners. The Civil Service Commissioners, when such transfers are reported to them, call for the certificates of qualification held by the officers who are being transferred, in order to put upon them the proper endorsements.
The endorsed certificate is necessary to qualify the transferred officer to receive his salary in his new situation, pursuant to clause 2 of the Order in Council of 4th June 1870, and hence it follows that notice of all such transfers should be given to the Civil Service Commissioners before they are actually carried into effect.
I have, &c.
Circular issued by the Secretary, Civil Service Commission, to the Authorities of various Departments, 1876, with reference to the examination of Office keepers, Messengers, &c.
WITH reference to the correspondence by which the subjects of examination for the situations of office keeper, messenger, &c. in your Department were settled;
I am directed by the Civil Service Commissioners to acquaint you that the question having arisen in a recent case, it was agreed between the Commissioners and the Department concerned, with the approval of the Lords of the Treasury, that it was desirable that for situations of this nature sufficient arithmetic for the keeping of a petty cash book should be regarded as an essential qualification.
Under these circumstances I am to request that you will oblige the Commissioners by informing me whether there is any objection to this rule being applied in your Department to the situations above mentioned.* I have, &c.
* It was subsequently settled in almost all cases that arithmetic should be one of the subjects of examination for situations of this class.
REGULATIONS RESPECTING OPEN COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS FRAMED BY THE CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSIONERS, AND APPROVED BY THE COMMISSIONERS OF HER MAJESTY'S TREASURY, BETWEEN 1ST JANUARY 1878 AND 31ST DECEMBER 1878.
Extract from Regulations-Apprentices in Her Majesty's Dockyards
**For the General Regulations respecting Open Competitive Examinations for Situations in the Civil Service, included in Schedule A. of the Order in Council of 4th June 1870, see p. 129.
REGULATIONS RESPECTING OPEN COMPETITIVE EXAMINATIONS
REGULATIONS respecting TEMPORARY COPYISTS in PUBLIC DEPARTMENTS.
Revised Regulations may at any time be issued, which will apply to every Copyist who may accept or renew an engagement after their publication in the London Gazette.
1. A register of copyists for temporary employment in Public Departments will be kept by the Civil Service Commissioners.
2. This register will contain the names—
(a.) Of candidates who, after the ordinary competitions, have been placed on the list of successful competitors for clerkships of the Lower Division, or for situations of assistants of excise, but have not yet received appointments, provided they signify their wish to the Civil Service Commissioners to be provisionally registered as copyists.
Men clerks can only be registered as men copyists and boy clerks as boy copyists.
The appointment to permanent situations of candidates thus provisionally placed on the register of copyists will, in the case of clerks of the Lower Division, continue to take effect according to clause 9 of the Order in Council of 12th February 1876.
While they remain upon the register they will be subject to whatever regulations apply to other registered copyists.
(b.) Of candidates who, not having competed for clerkships of the Lower Division, or for situations of assistants of excise, or not being placed on the lists of successful competitors, have satisfied the Civil Service Commissioners that they are of good health and character, and that they are duly qualified under the following regulations (3 and 4).
3. The limits of age in the case of candidates not belonging to class (a) are:For men copyists—over 18.
For boy copyists-14 to 18.
4. The subjects of examination for candidates in class 2 (b) are:
5. Examinations, for the purpose of testing the qualifications of candidates in the above-mentioned subjects, will be held by the Civil Service Commissioners from time to time as may be necessary, and a certain number, regulated by the probable demand from the Public Departments, of those who display the requisite amount of proficiency, will be placed upon the register kept by the Commissioners.
6. The fee payable by persons attending these examinations will be 5s. for men and 2s. 6d. for boys.
Candidates should fully understand that only those who show themselves proficient in the obligatory subjects can be placed upon the register, and that those who do not pass in arithmetic will be excluded from employment where copyists are required for arithmetical work.