The Carter administration is recruiting executive talent from industry, universities and special interest groups for short-term, volunteer service on 13 different reorganization task forces.
Letters have already gone out to 1.500 firms asking them to recommend executives, specialists and retirees who might be available for the Washington assignments. The government isn't planning to pay them anything, or to supply travel or per diem funds. It is asking that the companies pick up those expenses.
Officials say that they have had many inquiries asking about the program - being handled by the Office of Management and Budget - but that only one executive, from Coca Cola, has been through the total clearance process.
White House aides are reluctant to say how many executives they will be taking for the 60-day to 6-month jobs, but the outside number now appears to be about 100. They will join political appointees and career civil servants who are working on the projects, which range from defense and food policy to legal services and analysis of the federal decision making process. Ross K. Robeson, on detail from another federal job is director of the Executive Loan Program.
Officials say they are not trying to use the borrowed executives to skirt federal job ceiling, or to undercut bureaucrats."The idea is to get new and different ideas from outside of government," an OMB spokesman said. He expects that the executives would make up no more than 25 per cent of each study group.
Program managers do not expect to get the best and brightest executives, simply because most firms won't part with them for any length of time. Rather they are after up-and-coming executives, people in industry who are between assignments or on rotating training programs and retirees. In the case of retirees, the government is recommending that industry pick up their daily living expenses while in Washington.