Characteristics and Features of Civil Service


The rules and regulations that govern the civil service are guided by an overarching principle or set of qualities. The following are some of the guiding principles:

  • Permanent residence and employment stability
  • Political neutrality
  • Anonymity
  • Hierarchy/classism
  • Merit system
  • Tight regulations and operating procedures
  • Impartiality
  • Expertise
  • Training
  • Remuneration
  • Professionalism

Characteristics and Features of Civil Service


The term “tenure” refers to the required minimum number of years of service before a civil official can retire. This gives the impression that a person is recruited into the civil service at a young age with the promise that he or she would spend their entire working life in the civil service.

If a civil servant is found to be in compliance with the laws and regulations that regulate the day-to-day administration and management of government business, then it is likely that their position will be made permanent.

On the other hand, a public worker who has attained the age of sixty or who has logged thirty-five years of service is considered to be eligible for mandatory retirement.

If an officer has a history of misconduct, they run the risk of being fired, terminated, or even dismissed at any time, especially if they are found guilty of an offense beyond a reasonable doubt.


Civil servants should not identify themselves as members of any political party, and they should act in a manner that is non-partisan when carrying out their duties. This is what is meant by the term “political neutrality.”

They ought, consequently, to be loyal, and they ought to serve any government that comes into power with the same level of dedication.

The explanation for these characteristics hinges on the fact that if a civil servant is a member of a political party or has feelings of sympathy for the party, there is a greater likelihood that this civil servant will work to undermine the efforts of the party that is in opposition to his or her own and support the efforts of the party that the civil servant belongs to.


Officers in the civil service are rarely heard of, which is appropriate given that they are not supposed to be heard of claiming credit or failure for the success or failure of any government policy or action at any given point in time. Instead, the political master of the civil servant, such as the minister or commissioner, is always in the vintage position of being seen and heard.


The term “hierarchy” refers to the organization or arrangement of offices and officials of differing positions and grades into a systematic sequence beginning at the bottom and progressing all the way to the top in a relationship of superiority and subordination.

The line in the organizational hierarchy serves as the basis for communication, command, and control in the workplace. It simplifies both control and coordination, but at the expense of added delay.

Classism refers to the practice of dividing members of a workforce into distinct occupational groups, such as administrative, executive, clerical, and auxiliary workers. The amount of education that a civil servant has attained is the determining factor in each case.


Merit is used as a criterion for both entry-level jobs and promotions within the public sector. Therefore, candidates are selected based on their qualifications and their level of competence, which are evaluated in the form of a written examination and an oral interview, both of which are often administered by the civil service commission.

Promotion is also determined by predetermined criteria, which ensures that only those government workers who are both productive and competent are given promotions. In the military, there is a focus on meritocracy as a way to prevent favoritism, sectionalism, and tribalism.


It is one of the most fundamental principles that guides the functioning of the civil service that it operates according to rules that are rigidly written out. These procedures can be found in the General Order (G.O), which governs financial institutions and establishments.

The inability to adapt to changing circumstances and a rigid adherence to established procedures, sometimes known as bureaucratic tendencies or excessive paperwork. The civil service makes an effort to preserve these distinctive qualities, but as a result, acts are occasionally delayed, and this draws criticism from a variety of sources.