Evaluation processes in the civil service are difficult to assess because of the kind of services public service renders. Unlike the private organizations that operate for profit maximization purposes, the public organizations access their effectiveness in the number of people that benefit from their services. Productivity in public service is evaluated accordance with the benefit enjoyed by the greater number of people. The more benefit enjoyed by the people the more effective public organization are accessed. It becomes difficult to give an accurate evaluation to the activities and services of civil servants.
One fundamental principle of the civil service is that they are anonymous in the service they provide. Civil servants do not take direct glory or blame for the services render. Furthermore, civil servants operate to serve people with different interest, especially in US where there are minority groups and majority groups with diverse interest; it then become difficulty to carry out an evaluation devoid of subjectivity and impartial observation. A significant principle that is observed by the civil service is the principle of merit. Promotion and all activities of the civil service are expected to be conducted based on merit.
For many years the appointment of civil servants and public office holder are done based on merit. The merit principle entails that those who deserve to be appointed or promoted in the civil service are accorded the privilege, devoid of political favoritism. In the time past, with the change in administration in the United States, the ‘Spoil System’ was in place where appointment into sensitive positions in public offices are done based on political affiliation, clienteles and payback to godfathers and political faithful. This negates the principle of meritocracy.
The spoil system is still in practice in contemporary US governmental administration, even when it is not too obvious but clandestinely conducted. This practice if continued will be a threat to the survival of the merit principle in American civil service. It is pertinent that the merit principle continues so that apt and capable hands are employed to occupy public offices for the sustenance of development in US. In contemporary times the private organization are utilizing strategic human resource management (SHRM) as a way of motivating workers in a participatory management activities, in that they partake in initiating strategic policies.
This practice act as a way of motivating subordinate workers to implement the strategy they initiated together. This brings about efficiency and effectiveness. Furthermore, giving workers the opportunity to contribute in the organization strategy formulation and implementation brings about discretions and innovativeness that advance the course of the organization. In public personnel management, the practice to allow subordinates to partake in strategy formulation is absent. This important aspect of SHRM should be introduced to public personnel management in the 21st century.