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An official website of the United States Government.

Our Mission, Role & History
The Greatest Job in America is Working for it. Federal workers are the people that brought you the lunar landing, who rebuilt the world after the war, who cure disease, fight crime, protect our Constitution, and advance our principles.

OPM’s history begins with the Civil Service Act, signed in 1883, ending the spoils system and establishing the Civil Service Commission.  The Commission, led by the energetic Teddy Roosevelt, laid the foundations of an impartial, professional civil service based on the merit principle – that employees should be judged only on how well they can do the job.

In 1978, the Civil Service Commission was reorganized into three new organizations: the Office of Personnel Management, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Federal Labor Relations Authority.  Each of these new organizations took over a portion of the Civil Service Commission’s responsibilities, with OPM responsible for personnel management of the civil service of the Government. 

Learn more about the history of the civil service, Teddy Roosevelt, and OPM’s role in the Federal Government today, recruiting, retaining and honoring a world-class workforce for the American people.

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