Following the recommendations of a Royal Commission into the working of the civil service, "The Civil Service Act of 1889" was passed, and the Civil Service Board was established. Board members were appointed on 4 December 1889, and the Act commenced on and took effect from 1 January 1890.
The Civil Service Board had powers to create regulations and make recommendations with respect to the general administration of the Service; staff selection and registration; Civil Service examinations and scholarships; staff training, promotions, retirement, leave, accommodation, etc; Civil Service expenditure; the classification of Public Service officers; and the determination of salaries and wages. As part of the Civil Service Board's responsibility for the efficient, economic and general working of the public service and Government Departments, the Board made inspections, inquiries, investigations and recommendations with regards to these matters.
The Board produced an annual Classified List of Officers as required under sec. 73 of the Act.
The Board was constituted by three members (including a Chairman and a Secretary) appointed by the Governor in Council, and reported monthly to the Chief Secretary. Officers excluded from the provisions of the Act included: Judges and Crown Prosecutors, the police force, Parliamentary officers, the Agent General, Auditor General, Land Board, Railway Commissioners and other railway officers.
The Civil Service Board was dissolved when the Civil Service became known as the Public Service, under the "Public Service Act of 1896".