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TABLE OF CONTENTS.

Ashes, collection of.......

Ashes, specifications for collection of..

Asphalt and cements, report of inspector.

Asphalt block pavements, specifications for.

Asphalt, sheet, specifications for....

Asphaltic macadam, specifications for.

Automobile board, report of..

Bids, schedules of..

Bituminous macadam pavement, specifications for.

Boilers, steam, report of inspector..

Bridges, report of engineer..

Buildings, report of inspector.

Cement sidewalks, specifications for.

Chief clerk, report..

Contracts, list of..

District Building, report of superintendent.

Electrical engineer, report of...

Elevators, report of inspector..

Engineer Commissioner, report of..

Garbage, collection of ..

Garbage, specifications for collection of.

Gas and meters, report of inspector...

Highways, report of engineer...

Insanitary buildings, report of board for condemnation oi.

Macadam, bituminous, roadway pavement, specifications for.

Municipal architect, report of....

Parking, report of superintendent of trees and.

Permit clerk, report of..

Plumbing board, report of..

Plumbing inspector, report of.

Record division, reports of...

Refuse, miscellaneous collection of..

Refuse, specifications for collection of..

Repairs, report of superintendent...

Resurfacing sheet asphalt pavements, specifications for

Roads, suburban, report of superintendent of..

Rock Creek Park, report of assistant engineer..

Sewers, report of superintendent..

Sewers, specifications for....

Sheet asphalt pavements, specifications for.

Sidewalks, cement, specifications for .

Steam engineers, report of board of examiners..

Street cleaning, report of superintendent of...

Street extensions division, report of.....

Streets, report of superintendent..

Subsurface and building divisions, reports of.

Surface division, reports of..

Surveyor, report of..

Trees and parking, report of superintendent..

Water department, report of superintendent.

Water registrar, report of...

Wharf committee, report of...

219184

EXTRACT FROM THE REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA FOR THE FISCAL YEAR ENDED JUNE 30, 1912.

OFFICE OF THE COMMISSIONERS OF

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA,

Washington, December 2, 1912. To the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of

America in Congress assembled: The Commissioners of the District of Columbia herewith submit for the information of Congress, pursuant to the requirements of section 12 of an act providing a permanent form of government for the District of Columbia, approved June 11, 1878 (20 Stat. L., 1908), a report of their official doings for the fiscal year ended June 30, 1912.

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MERIT SYSTEM IN THE ENGINEER DEPARTMENT.

It is recognized that the character of the service rendered by the organized branches of the engineer department can not rise superior to the personnel of those branches. If the laws relating to public works be conceived with perfect wisdom and if the general direction of the service be on the highest possible plane, nevertheless inefficiency and extravagance will result if there is any departure from the merit system in dealing with the personnel. The raising of the pay of some individual in the service, for example, through the exercise of political influence and by means of an item in an appropriation bill, tends to lower the tone of the whole District service, exciting personal animosities, and being regarded as born of injustice and unfair

In a very large public service, like that of the United States, it seems to be true that the merit system can not be secured more effectively than through such a system as is provided by law and administered by the Civil Service Commission. The defects in this system are well described in a recent expression of the views of President Taft, which include the following:

Even in the selection of the comparatively small number of employees in the Government service it has been found necessary to eliminate that personal equation which contributes so greatly to efficiency in private business.

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This system, while vastly preferable to the former, is still woefully deficient as compared with the methods employed in private business. That faculty of judging human nature and selecting just the right man for a particular type of work which is the most valuable asset of the business man, and which contributes more than aught else to his success, is wholly lost to the Government. The man who passes with most credit the formal civil examination may be, often is, wholly lacking in initiative, push, and executive ability, and yet no better method of selecting Government employees has ever been devised.

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Congress has not extended to the District of Columbia the operation of the civil-service law, although for many years the commissioners sought such legislation.

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There is now in effect in the District engineer (public works) branches a merit system which is fully described in the following order:

OFFICE OF THE ENGINEER COMMISSIONER OF

THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. Ordered:

That there is hereby created a board of promotions and appointments in the engineer department of the District of Columbia to consist of the two assistants to the engineer commissioner and the chief clerk of the engineer department.

1. The duty of this board shall be to recommend to the engineer commissioner the person most fit to fill, by promotion or appointment, each vacancy that may arise in the engineer department.

2. When a vacancy occurs in any office or department in the engineer department, it shall be the duty of the head of such office or department to make recommendation to said board as to the filling of said vacancy by promotion or appointment, and it shall be the duty of the board to forward such recommendation to the engineer commissioner, with its approval or disapproval, giving the reasons therefor.

3. Before making such recommendation the head of the office or department concerned shall examine and give careful consideration to all applications filed in the office of the commissioners during the six months previous for employment of the nature required in the vacant position, and to communicate with, or when practicable personally to interview, the more promising applicants in order to determine their relative fitness for appointment to such vacancy,

4. In the case of promotions in the service, the heads of offices or departments shall consider not only the claims to promotion of employees immediately in the offices or departments, but of all employees under the jurisdiction of the engineer commissioner

5. In making recommendations for filling positions relative merit and fitness alone shall be considered, but weight may be given to length and faithfulness of employment in the District service. The hope of promotion, when deserved, tends to increase efficiency throughout the service.

6. It shall be the duty of the board on promotions and appointments carefully to consider all such recommendations and the reasons therefor, and in doing so it shall have authority to call before it any head of office or department to give further information regarding such recommendations. It will often be advisable for the board personally to interview candidates.

7. While no intricate procedure is imposed upon the board, it is expected that it will adopt such methods as will insure à fair consideration of all applicants and the selection for each vacancy of the person available who in the position to be filled can render the most valuable service to the District of Columbia.

8. These instructions will be carefully observed by all heads of offices and departments under the supervision of the engineer commissioner.

9. It is the purpose of the engineer commissioner, in so far as discretion is vested in him by law, follow the recommendations of the board herein constituted.

W. V. JUDSON,
Lieutenant Colonel, Corps of Engineers, U.S. Army,

Engineer Commissioner, District of Columbia. It is believed that the system above described avoids in large part the difficulties necessarily encountered in the Federal civil service, while at the same time taking human nature into consideration, as does the ordinary business man. This system also promotes discipline, and therefore efficiency, by attaching great importance to the opinions formed of men by their department superiors.

The very excellent results following the introduction of this merit system deserve to be recorded for the benefit of other cities.

ELIMINATION OF SUBURBAN GRADE CROSSINGS.

The District appropriation act for the fiscal year 1911 contained an appropriation of $50,000 for constructing a subway at the Cedar Street crossing of the tracks of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co.

in order to eliminate a grade crossing. It was necessary to condemn certain land necessary to widen Cedar Street, so as to permit of the construction of this subway, and this land was acquired, and a contract for constructing the subway was entered into with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Co. The work has been completed, with the exception of certain grading and other incidental work, and the subway is being used for traffic, the railroad being carried overhead.

In their last annual report, and in the estimates for the fiscal year 1913, the commissioners submitted an estimate of $110,000 to provide for constructing a viaduct and bridge to carry Benning Road over the railroad tracks, but this appropriation was not made, and it has again been included in the estimates of the commissioners for the fiscal year 1914.

The commissioners believe that all such dangerous railroad crossings should be gradually eliminated, as they have been eliminated within the old city limits.

ROADWAY PAVEMENTS.

The sum of $579,050 was appropriated for paving new roadways and for repairing and repaving old roadway pavement. Of this amount, $425,000 was for resurfacing and repairs. In this paving work sheet asphalt, asphalt block, and asphaltic macadam was used.

The prices paid for constructing new sheet-asphalt pavement and asphalt-block and asphaltic macadam pavement were as follows:

Per square yard. Laying sheet-asphalt pavement 24 (inches asphalt surface, 2 inches binder, before compression) with 6-inch concrete base....

$1. 70 Laying vitrified-block gutters with 6-inch concrete base

1. 40 Laying 4-inch asphalt-block pavement with gravel base, inside the old limits

of the city of Washington, meaning thereby south of Florida Avenue and east of Rock Creek...

1. 65 Laying 4-inch asphalt-block pavement with gravel base, outside the old limits

of the city of Washington, meaning thereby north of Florida Avenue and west of Rock Creek..

1. 80 Laying 3-inch asphalt-block pavement with 4-inch concrete base, at any place within the District of Columbia..

1. 80 Laying 2-inch asphalt-block pavement with 4-inch concrete base, one square

in length, to be selected by the Commissioners of the District of Columbia, should they decide to use this type of pavement....

1. 65 The prices for the current fiscal year 1913 are as foilows:

Per square yard. Laying sheet-asphalt pavement (24 inches asphalt surface, 2 inches binder, before compression), with 6-inch concrete base ..

$1. 77 Laying vitrified-block gutters, with 6-inch concrete base.

1. 37 Laying asphaltic macadam pavement on 6-inch concrete base

1. 67 Laying asphaltic macadam pavement on broken stone base ..

.99 Laying 2-inch asphalt-block pavement with 6-inch concrete base.

1.76 The current prices for resurfacing and repairing asphalt pavements under contract during the year are as follows: Laying sheet-asphalt pavement (24 inches asphalt surface, 2 inches binder, before compression) with 6 inch concrete base.

- per square yard.. $1. 68 Laying sheet-asphalt surface (27 inches before compression)

..do....

.64 Laying sheet-asphalt surface (resurfacing by heater method)..per cubic foot.. Laying asphalt binder (in connection with resurfacing work).. ....do.... Laying sheet-asphalt surface (for repairs and miscellaneous work, cuts, etc.)

per cubic foot ...

.66

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.57

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