Local Government Officers


    IMPORTANT recommendations regarding the qualifications, recruitment, training and promotion of local government officers are made in the recent report of a departmental committee under the chairmanship of Sir Henry Hadow to the Ministry of Health (London: H.M. Stationery Office. Is. 6d. net). The Committee considers that considerable revision of the present system of recruiting and training officers is necessary, and makes the principal recommendation that a permanent central advisory committee should be appointed, representative of local authorities, to investigate and advise in all questions affecting local government service. The co-operation of such a central body is necessary to give effect to the Committee's proposals with regard to entry to the service by competitive examinations, the recruitment of an increased number of university graduates, on which special stress is laid, and the investigation of conditions of training, particularly with respect to the establishment of an administrative examination of appropriate standard for passing from the general grade of clerical officers to the higher grades. OTHER recommendations relate to the adoption of uniform grading systems and salary scales, the wide notification of vacancies, the establishment of a minimum age limit of sixteen years, coupled with the possession of a school certificate for entry to the service. A certain proportion of junior clerical officers should be recruited at eighteen or nineteen years of age, apart from the systematic recruitment of university graduates and of professional and technical officers from all available sources. A thorough investigation of technical qualifications is required, and coupled with greater precautions against personal influence in making appointments, greater mobility of officers between local authorities, the assignment by each local authority to one establishment committee of all questions affecting the recruitment, qualification, training and promotion of officers; these suggestions should assist in the development of a local government service able to meet the increasingly onerous demands made upon it.

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