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persons having been appointed during the first year from the eligible lists resulting from competitive examinations. There were in 1885, 22 appointments from the eligible list, in 1886 there were 57, in 1887 there were 58, in 1888 there were 79, in 1889 there were 47, in 1890 there were 62, in 1891 there were 71, in 1892 there were 101 and in 1893 during the administration of the present Commission, there have been 129.”,
Reference to years succeeding 1893 show a steady increase in the particular named, until 1896 there were 3,829 persons examined in competitive examinations and 630 appointments from the resulting eligible lists. These figures are given to emphasize the above statement of the growth of the work of the present Com. mission and to make two suggestions for legislative action: (1) An increased appropriation for necessary expenses of the Commission, with its increased duties and (2) provision for more commodious quarters in which to properly perform such additional labor. The appropriation for 1897 was $16,800. This amount was expected to cover examinations and office expenses at leastan amount wholly inadequate to meet the increased expenses of the Commission incident to the situation we have already explained. The expense of examinations owing to their increased number has increased perhaps beyond any other department, such total expenditure doubtless being beyond any official or public idea. The present Commission rooms located on the fourth floor of the Capitol are inaccessible and restricted as compared with many other State departments obviously of less importance. As it is, the Commission with its constantly increasing examination papers and other evidences of increasing growth is cramped for room and should be promptly provided with more accessible and commodious quarters.'
STATISTICAL INFORMATION. For full statistical in formation with regard to results of the Commission's work during the fiscal year, we beg to refer to the complete tabulated statement in the appendix to this report. Such statements indicate in clear and tabulated form the number of persons in the unclassified and classified service of the various departments of the State and institutions thereof; the number of persons examined under the old and the new law; the number who passed and the number v ho failed; the number of persons appointed from eligible lists, etc., the whole showing detailed and total results. These figures have been made with care and are believed to be accurate. They prove practically the wonderful growth of the civil service of the State as already stated, and by inference at least emphasize the timeliness of your Excellency's recommendation in your second message to the Legislature that “A larger force and bet. ter accommodations should be given the Civil Service Board." The Commission feels that present financial appropriations are insufficient to properly meet its needs and believes that with such increased appropriations and enlarged accommodations the work will be even better systematized and expected results more promptly obtained.
THE YEAR'S ROUTINE WORK. Of the routine work of the year, the following items are worthy of special notice:
The approval of civil service regulations and amendments for cities.
The establishment of age limitations for Supreme Court attendants and the ruling in regard to the application of age limits to veteran applicants.
Transfers of positions between the various classes and classifi. cation of new positions.
Provision for separate eligible lists for the several divisions of the State under the Department of Agriculture.
Extension and revision of existing eligible lists to conform to the new law.
Adoption of new rules, regulations and schemes for the State Civil Service in accordance with the new law.
Relinquishment of jurisdiction over minor and local courts in
MUNICIPAL CIVIL SERVICE.
During the year civil service regulations have been approved by the Commission for the cities of New York, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Binghamton, Cohoes, Albany, Rensselaer, Yonkers, Long Island City, Poughkeepsie and Elmira. This list includes nearly all the larger cities of the State and some of the smaller ones. It does not, however, include all cities in the State as strictly speaking under the law it should. Delinquents have been notified of their duty and it is confidently expected that in reasonable time every city in the State will be brought under the new civil service law. At the same time the Commission desires to explain that because of the few employes in the service the smaller cities have less practical interest in the Civil Service Law and rules than the larger ones, and for that reason have been allowed some indulgence in their neglect to promptly comply with the law.
DEPARTMENT WORK ELSEWHERE NOTED. The Commission can here refer simply in a prefatory way to its work. For details as a whole it refers to the full and credit
able report of Chief Examiner Fowler, as well as the faithful and intelligently tabulated statement of Secretary Angle, to be found elsewhere.
IN CONCLUSION. The year's work appears to have been a practical advance. The civil service system is in the State Constitution, and is approved by the majority and all that is necessary in our opinion to its full acceptance is its rigid and just application under the Constitution on equitable and practical lines.
WILLARD A. COBB.
New YORK, March 15, 1898. To the Governor:
I beg to respectfully present a report of my reasons for disagreeing with the majority of the members of the Civil Service Commission in their regular annual report to you.
Having had for over thirty-five years some experience in the civil service and in the methods adopted for its regulation, I reached certain conclusions as to the existence of abuses in that service and as to the most feasible method of removing them. This method, so far as principles are concerned, was that embodied in the law of this State and the rules under it, as they stood before May 15, 1897. The amendatory law passed on that date was in many respects a signal departure from the funda mental provisions of the antecedent statute. While I did not disguise from you my doubts of the efficacy of the new law, I sedulously aided you, as indeed was my official duty, in draftig rules for its administration and enforcement, and endeavored, so far as I could, to ensure a fair trial of the law and rules. I have refrained from any public criticism or comment upon the results of this trial until now, when it is my statutory duty, as a member of the Commission, to report to you, who have upon all occasions freely accorded to me the privilege of an independent and candid expression of opinion.
The avowed purpose of the framers of the civil service act of May 15, 1897, was to secure a more effective enforcement of the ninth section of the fifth article of the Constitution, enjoining appointments for approved merit and fitness, and was thus a condemnation in that respect of the vital principles of the previous act that it amended. Those who had given any special attention to that branch of public policy, known as civil service reform, saw in advance that the proposed law would not serve the declared ends of its supporters.
The movement in this country for civil service reform origidated prior to 1871, and on March 3d of that year found lodgment in a brief but comprehensive section of an United States statute, subsequently enlarged and amended by the act of January 16, 1883, and on May 4th of the same year an almost identical lawmutatis mutandis—was enacted in this State. All of this legislation was based upon the universal experience in all countries and times that as a general proposition it is unsafe to confer upon administrative officers, where they were exposed to partisan or personal influences, an unrestrained power of appointment; unsafe because such power not only might be exercised without paramount consideration for the public interests, but that in the vast majority of cases it was so exercised. These abuses of power had produced several evils, the most serious of which were, first, the degradation of the civil service by its subordination to partisan ends or personal advantage; second, the practical exclusion of a