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Inventory of the State Personnel Board Records
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Agency History

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: State Personnel Board Records
    Inventory: F3930
    Creator: State Personnel Board
    Extent: see Series Description
    Repository: California State Archives
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information

    Publication Rights

    For permission to reproduce or publish, please contact the California State Archives. Permission for reproduction or publication is given on behalf of the California State Archives as the owner of the physical items. The researcher assumes all responsibility for possible infringement which may arise from reproduction or publication of materials from the California State Archives collections.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], State Personnel Board Records, F3930, California State Archives.

    Agency History

    Governor Hiram Johnson established California's first Civil Service Commission ( Stats. 1913, ch. 590, p. 1035) as a reform measure aimed at promoting employee efficiency and ending the widespread spoils system in the public sector. The spoils system, a commonly practiced form of political favoritism, involved the giving of jobs in local and state government based on party loyalty, friendship, and nepotism rather than on qualification and experience.
    During the 1920s, the Civil Service Commission underwent several revisions ( Stats. 1921, ch. 601, p. 1020; Stats. 1925, ch. 236, p. 391; Stats. 1927, ch. 43, p. 75). As part of a restructuring of state government, the Commission was transferred to the newly established Division of Personnel and Organization, within the Department of Finance ( Stats. 1929, ch. 293, p. 597).
    A constitutional amendment, adopted in 1934, created the State Personnel Board (Const. 1879, Article XXIV). The creation of the State Personnel Board abolished the Division of Personnel and Organization. In June, 1968, the voters of California repealed Article XXIV and, in its place, adopted Article VII, the State Civil Service amendment.
    Throughout its history, the State Personnel Board had performed various functions, interacting with a growing number of public employees and agencies. The Board provides state agencies with qualified employees and establishes guidelines to insure fair treatment of those employees. Other responsibilities include the regulation of appointments, promotions, transfers, adjustments in salaries and wages; vacations, leaves of absence, employee-employer relations, employee grievances, and disciplinary actions.
    The Board develops testing methods to determine qualified applicants; provides in-service training programs aimed at preparing employees for positions with higher responsibility; sets evaluation standards; and monitors the affirmative action and equal opportunity programs of state agencies.
    The Board is also responsible for the administration of the Welfare Reform Act of 1971. This Act provides state and local agencies with guidance in the employment of citizens receiving public assistance.
    The Board actively participates in programs designed to improve employee efficiency, to reduce sick leave, and to insure that civil service employees are working in safe and hazard-free environments.
    The Cooperative Personnel Services division provides, at cost, technical assistance to agencies that select personnel through independent authority or that employ non-civil service personnel. These services include classification and pay surveys; fringe benefits; development of laws, rules, policies, and practices; and other personnel management matters. This division also conducts oral interviews, written examinations, and selection services for local agencies.
    The Department of Personnel Administration ( Stats. 1981, ch. 230, p. 55), a new and separate agency, was created to centralize the personnel functions being performed by several state agencies, including some of the duties of the State Personnel Board. This centralization required that the State Personnel Board relinquish the management of non-merit aspects of civil service, functions such as salary setting and performance evaluation.
    Between Constitutional Article VII and the statutes relating to civil service, Californians are provided a comprehensive Civil Service Plan.