Harold E. Finnegan, 66, a government personnel official for 30 years, died at his home in Fairfax on Saturday following an apparent heart attack.

Mr. Finnegan was born in Bartley, Neb., and graduated from the University of Nebraska in 1934 with a degree in political science and economics. He moved to Washington in 1935 and began his career with the federal government as a personnel assistant in the Department of Agriculture.

In 1940, he joined the Civil Service Commission. He spent the next five years working for that agency in Washington and in Raleigh, N.C. In 1946, he became the personnel officer at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Washington and remained in that post until 1956.

While working at St. Elizabeth's, Mr. Finnegan earned a doctorate in political science and public administration at American University.

From 1956 to 1960, he was a personnel officer in the Navy Department and then moved to the Department of Labor, where he was the assistant chief of the employment section in the secretary's office and then an official in the wages and hours and public contracts bureau. He retired from the government in 1965.

Mr. Finnegan spent the next two years as a special assistant to the president of the National Federation of Federal Employes. He retired a second time in 1968.

Survivors include his wife, Arva, of the home in Fairfax; two daughters, Dorothy F. Heil, of Alexandria, and Jane Kocmoud, of Wauwatosa, Wis.; a sister, Mildred Peterson, of Colorado Springs, Colo., and four grandchildren.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the American Heart Association.