|The Open Competition for the British Civil Service and 'Powers of Mind' in the late
19th Century :
The Resource of Bureaucrats for Civil Service Commission and Examiners
The author reveals the qualities of British Civil Service in late Victorian period, by focusing on the system of the open competition and the awareness of Civil Service Commission and examiners.
In the late 19th century, the reform of the British Civil Service was undertaken to modernize the administrative systems of the British Empire, and to promote the efficiency of the British bureaucracy. In the reform, the open competition for civil servants was the most important change to accomplish those purposes. This examination was managed by commissioners and examiners, by whom the young civil servants were selected and admitted to regular one.
In the examination, Commission put thought into 'powers of mind' as resources which was essential for becoming Civil Service, behind the some senses of danger. In Victorian days, the qualities asked for the candidates were the strength of their minds. Furthermore, other resource for bureaucrats, 'merit' and 'character', were recognized as the necessary possession just through idea of 'mental power'. For this reason, test papers were much difficult beyond imagination, to check the student's energy of minds.
Therefore, for the commissioners and examiners, the examination was the system which reflected to the candidate's score clearly by the measurement of 'powers of mind'.