Future civil servants may find they have more in common with the military's officer corps and the foreign than they do with today's bureaucracy, which is based on laws and administrative rulings designed - some times at the price of efficiency and speed - at protecting the job rights of workers.
Last week a special Civil Service Commission task force outlined a number of proposals for streamlining the management of government. Key to those proposals - which agencies, unions and other interested groups have two weeks to comment on - is th strengthening of the management arm of the government. In effect it means more power to the chiefs, and less tenure and security for the Indians.
Three major goals of the proposals are certain to stir protest and fear from major segments of the career bureaucracy. They are:
A "Selection-out" process for the civil service that would permit management to force employees to retire at age 55 after long service if management believes they are no longer productive or necessity. (Currently the government permits employees to "volunteer" for such mandatory retirement during times of major layoffs in their agencies.
Taking certain top-jobs in each agency out of the regular career promotion pattern and reserving them for "top-rated" women, blacks and other minorities.
Streamlining the grievance appeals system in government. The idea, backers say, is to make justice quicker for both the government and the employee and eliminate time-consuming procedures and layers of appeal and review, which many managers claim is the reason so few people are fired for incompetence.
The Carter Administration, while preparing to give managers more clout, isn't leaving its present and future top team out of its get-tough plans. It will propose a new Executive Management Service that would give "top-drawer" (as defined by managementr) bosses better opportunities to move about, and up in government at better pay. In return for it managers would have to agree to terms that would permit them to be transferred, dismissed or "put back" into non-EMS jobs if they didn't measure up.
Just how Congress and the career bereucracy will react to these proposals - and others that are coming - is anybody's guess. It is clear that the new White House team is interested in doing more to government than just changing the names of agencies and designing new organizational tables.