D.C. Democratic mayoral candiate Dorothy Maultsby charged yesterday that the city government is "operated constantly and consistently on a crisis management basis" and laid the blame on her three major opponents in the Sept. 12 primary.

Maultsby said that numerous audits and studies of the District of Columbia government in recent years provide "documented evidence of the inefficiency and ineffectiveness of leadership with which our city government is saddled."

She said that while her three major opponents - Mayor Walter E. Washington, City Council Chairman Sterling Tucker and council member Marion Barry - are citing their achievements in office, they are shunning comment on "the chaotic financial and organizational structure of our government, all of which was created under their directions."

The 51-year-old retired Department of Health, Education and Welfare management analyst cited what she said were a series of shortcomings in the city government, such as "imcomplete records of land, buildings and improvements," "serious inadequacies" in the administration of health and welfare programs, lax tax collection and insufficient funding of the city's schools.

"We can no longer afford the luxury of such poor management," she said at a District Building press conference.

"We need fresh blood, fresh minds and fresh ideas at city hall," Maultsby said, adding that she is the right candidate to fill that prescription.

She said that a Maultsby administration at the District Building would get federal grants for rehabilitation of homes and then rent them to low-and moderate-income people while also giving them the option to buy the homes after a year.

As a first step in office, she said she would have a complete independent audit" of existing city programs and later institute a partial zero-based budgeting system under which agencies must rejustify the value of their programs with each new budget.

She also called for creation of a program in which minimum-security prisoners would work for the city government with part of their wages being garnished and sent to the victims of their crimes.

In addition to Maultsby, Washington, Tucker and Barry, the other candidates in the Democratic primary include Charles S. (Trummie) Cain, John L. Ray, Richadr A. Jackson and James Clark.