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United States. Office of the US High Commissioner for Germany / A program to foster citizen participation in government and politics in Germany
(1951)

3. The public employee, the citizen and the state,   pp. 11-13 PDF (2.1 MB)


Page 12

first time can assure an impartial and uniform
administration of the personnel system throughout
each government, and in the last year there has
been an encouraging change in attitude among
those who direct the systems.
The US and UK Military Governments promul-
gated a civil service law for the Bizonal Economic
Administration (MG Law No. 15) which included
the reforms listed under B, above, and others.
While this law was opposed by the Bizonal ex-
ecutive, it induced a great deal of favorable com-
ment in Western Germany, and materially further-
ed the civil service reform movement.
The Federal Government has adopted a provi-
sional civil service law and expects to adopt a final
law before the end of 1950. Although the provi-
sional law omits most of the reforms contained in
MG Law No. 15, the Federal Government has
agreed to include in its implementing regulations
those suggested under B. above and to support
them in the final law. These reforms have im-
portant support in the Bundestag.
A German Society of Personnel Administrators,
designed to improve personnel standards and pro-
fessional attitudes, has been established. The mem-
bers include the principal personnel offices in the
US Zone as well as several in the British Zone.
The Society maintains a Technical Assistance
Bureau which works on the development of per-
sonnel techniques and furnishes professional serv-
ices at cost to municipalities and states upon re-
quest.
Until 1948 there was practically no public dis-
cussion of the German civil service. In contrast,
during the last two years public opinion has be-
come aware of the need for reform, and news-
paper discussion, pro and con, has been excep-
tionally active. The trade unions, almost without
exception, have been active in seeking reform,
and recently one of the major political parties, the
SPD, has joined in this.
Western Berlin has under consideration a very
satisfactory law.
Consultants from the United States have discussed
civil service reforms within the framework of
German practice. Four German personnel office
heads went to the United States in 1949 and twelve
more Germans active in personnel work during
1950. These exchanges have been extremely im-
portant in improving the position and work of the
personnel offices and in effecting a general change
in attitude.
(2) Administrative Courts
The German administrative courts' system was
re-established at the State (Land) level. The Basic
Law provides for the establishment of a similar
system for the Federal Government.
The members of the Land courts appear to be
fully conscious of their responsibilities, but there
is some question whether their jurisdiction is al-
ways adequate to correct improper official action.
Many ministries do not as yet accept limitations on
their exercise of arbitrary authority. The court
staffs are so small and so limited in financial sup-
port that they find it difficult to dispose of appeals
within a reasonable time.
Consultants from France have had considerable
success in stimulating reassessment of procedures
by the courts, to make citizen protection more
effective. The supreme administrative court in
Munich has begun publication of important admin-
istrative court decisions in Western Germany.
Citizens are thereby advised of individual rights,
and public servants learn gradually not to over-
step their legal authority.
(3) So far as other objectives are concerned,
progress is spotty in character. In some states of-
ficials at higher levels have become aware of the
duty of public servants to the citizens and have
issued instructions to the employees of the public
service accordingly, but it is not evident that this
has as yet produced any great change in the con-
duct of the public servants nor a general recogni-
tion of the need for such change.
In a few cases individual ministers have in-
structed their subordinates to conduct themselves
strictly within the limits of their legal authority,
but again this progress is extremely limited.
The laws establishing special protection for of-
ficials against criticism remain unchanged.
D. PLANNED ACTION TO JULY 1951
(1) General
This program, together with the programs on
local government and civil liberties, has such a
close connection with the daily life of the citizen
that it is appropriate in support of the general
program to stimulate citizen interest in politics and
government. Background material and outlines of
possible programs will, therefore, be made available
to community associations in case they wish to
center their work at any time around this subject.
Technical assistance will be made available to
the German Personnel Society, its regional or-
ganizations, and the Technical Assistance Bureau.
It may be noted here that the Personnel Society
proposes to publish the following in the early sum-
mer of 1950:
"The Public Service in the United States." A de-
scription of US civil service organization and prac-
tice written by the six personnel administrators
who visited the United States in 1949.
"Problems of the German Civil Service". A con-
sideration of their problems and criticisms of the
German civil service since its initiation (which
would indicate that these problems have been
posed in Germany itself and are not foreign in
character), with discussion of practicable solutions.
"Modern Methods for Personnel Selection". The
title describes the content, which deals with modern
methods not yet introduced into German practice.
A Monthly Newsletter in the personnel field.
IPG and the Land Offices will continue their
direct contacts with personnel offices for technical
advice on the improvement of civil service prac-
tice, and with proponents of reform in those states
where desirable changes have not yet been made.
These consultations will be extended to judges
of administrative courts and ministry officials on
continued improvement of the handling of citizens'
complaints.
(2) Consultants
During the remainder of 1950 one US expert
and three European experts on civil service are
expected to visit Germany for a period of three
months each. Two US experts for three months
each and one European expert for one month have
been requested for 1951.
These consultants will concentrate their efforts
on consultations with the leaders in their respec-
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