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The GS classification system is a mechanism for organizing work, notably for the purposes of determining pay, based on a position's duties, responsibilities, and qualification requirements, among other things. The GS system was created by the Classification Act of 1949 and was later codified in Title 5 of the U.S. Code. The origins of the GS system can be traced to the 1880s when merit replaced political patronage as the method of filling federal jobs. Classification was seen as a necessary first step in the equitable treatment of applicants and employees.