Civil Service Reform

Civil Service Reform

News & Stories


A capable, motivated civil service is the backbone of good governance and quality public service provision. A high-performing government requires employees who are well-trained and educated, fairly compensated, and effectively managed.

That is why the administration of Governor Pedro R. Pierluisi and the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico have made deliberate, strategic investments in a comprehensive Civil Service Reform (CSR) to improve governance and operational capacity across all agencies to strengthen and improve the way government works for the people. The CSR focuses on improving the experiences of public servants, so that they can professionally grow in their careers, learn through improved training, have a more positive work experience and, in turn, feel more motivated to transform their departments and provide the best services to Puerto Rico residents.

The Civil Service Reform
The Civil Service Reform is a government initiative to transform human capital capabilities and resources in the Government of Puerto Rico. The reform program centers around four interconnected and interdependent strategic components: (1) organizational design to ensure people with the right skills are at the right place within the organization, (2) compensation to ensure employees have a competitive salary vis-à-vis the local labor market, (3) recruitment to ensure the government recruits and retains the best talent possible, and (4) employee evaluation to ensure employees are motivated, retained, and have career advancement opportunities.
The Civil Service Reform Pilot

Given the administrative challenge of implementing a reform as comprehensive and complex as the CSR, a pilot approach has been adopted. Implementing small-scale pilots enables the government to test a complex reform before determining whether and how to implement it across all agencies. This approach fosters consensus-building and the identification of best practices, paving the way for a more effective implementation across all government agencies. A pilot project also allows the government to maximize success by analyzing a smaller-scale implementation of the reform and fine-tuning the reform program, identifying administrative and technical pitfalls that need to be addressed before a broader implementation.

The first CSR pilot program focused on accounting, finance, and IT departments at the Department of Treasury (Hacienda) and the Office of Management and Budget (OGP), spanning from July 2021 to September 2022. It encompassed salary adjustments for 76% of employees, proposed 112 new positions, reclassified 93 employees, and introduced skills-based evaluations, with 75% of employees expressing confidence in the system’s effectiveness.

In March 2024, a second CSR pilot program was launched to transform talent acquisition and management processes, with a focus on recruiting over 200 positions, including accountants, data scientists, and engineers, and testing an innovative skills-based talent management strategy. Further details regarding these pilot programs are outlined below.

Civil Service Reform Strategic Components

Organizational Design
Objective: Redesign and align the organizational structure with the vision and objectives of the agency.
What does this mean? An effective structure that takes into account where employees are needed and can provide value based on their capabilities to reach agency objectives.
Employee Evaluation
Objective: Develop an evaluation system to support skill development and create opportunities for professional advancement.
What does this mean? An employee evaluation system that permits employees to identify and communicate effectively their skill needs and desired areas of development.
Objective: Adjust salaries to guarantee the government is compensating government employees competitively and based on market data.
What does this mean? Reviewed and adjusted salaries to ensure that the government has compensation models based on market data that result in competitive, fair, and justifiable salaries.
Objective: Modernize, digitize and standardize the recruitment processes so that they are based on merit with the goal of hiring and attracting quality talent with the right skills and capabilities.
What does this mean? A recruitment process and system that is effective and just in recruiting quality skilled talent that can breach gaps, work overload, and meet the emerging needs of civilians.

Civil Service Reform Key Accomplishments

1st CSR Pilot in the Department of Treasury and the Office of Management and Budget

Implementation of a New Uniform Classification and Remuneration Plan of the Central Government:

Talent Acquisition and Talent Management CSR Pilot

Civil Service Reform at the Department of Education


“We have collaborated with the Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico in developing the pilot project that began at the Puerto Rico Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget. Our objective is to keep the valuable personnel we have and, at the same time, attract new talent to public service in Puerto Rico.”

Lcda. Zahira A. Maldonado Molina

OATRH Director

“This is an ambitious Civil Service Reform, with the implementation of the pilot project being only the beginning, and it requires the commitment of every one of us in the government. I put my trust in my working team and the results we have gotten today anticipate a positive future for the agency.”

Francisco Parés Alicea

Former Treasury Secretary

“We are confident that this reform will yield significant benefits for all components of the government, especially those workers who will receive economic compensation comparable to the private sector. We will also create new positions and bring more efficient services to citizens.”

Lcdo. Juan Carlos Blanco

OGP Director

“Today marks the first time in 25 years that salary scales and classifications have been revised and adjusted to reflect the capabilities and experience of Puerto Rico’s governmental employees. This is a historic moment for the Government of Puerto Rico, and we are proud to be a part of such success.”

David A. Skeel Jr

Chairman of the FOMB