Despite a well-planned transition and the official inauguration of the Carter administration, there still are at least 40,000 figure very visible reminders of President Ford hanging around government.

The 40,000 figure doesn't refer to holdover appointees, the pork-barrel pool or alleged Republican bureacratic booby traps. We're talking about pictures of former President Ford, which still outnumber pictures of President Carter by about 50 to 1.

These are the distinguished looking, presidential-caliber portraits of Mr. Ford, which now adorn government walls from the State Department to the nation's smallest post offices and the press room in the American slice of the SouthPole.

Mr. Ford picture will remain on most government office walls until the Democratic National Committee - as is the custom - supplies the government with replacements of their man.

Nobody knows for sure how many presidential pictures are on government office walls, in the inner sanctums of VIPs or in lobbies in government buildings. But the estimate of 40,000, an official said, is "about right", if not a little low.

The procedure in the past has been for the winning side to buy pictures of its President and (using the frames left by the old presidential picture) make them available to the General Services Administration.

GSA brass - who handle most housekeeping chores for government agencies - say they haven't heard from the DNC yet as to when it will be replacing Mr. Ford's picture with Mr. Carter's.

Not everybody id waiting for the official changing of the portraits to take place. At the Federal Aviation Administration, for instance, the event took place sometime Thursday while most of Washington was watching the inaugural.

"Wednesday when we left work the pictures on the wall were of President Ford and Secretary Coleman," and FAA wall-watcher said. "Friday when we came back to work we discovered that Coleman and Ford were down and (Brock) Adams and Carter were up Whe says nobody worked here on inauguration day?"