The typical top-of-the-totem pole bureaucrat today is 52.1 years of age, a college graduate, white male earning bewteen $44,700 and $47,500, married with a home in the Washington suburbs. He typically came up from the ranks, entering the "supergrade" (Grade 16, 17 or 18) levels in his early to mid-40s.
That composite picture of a career federal supergrader will begin to change gradually when the new Senior Executive Service is off and running. SES, a high-risk, high-reward system for the 8,000-plus federal executives, will begin to take shape March 15.
That is when government executives will be asked if they want to stay under the present civil service security blanket or enroll in the SES. It is the jewel in the Carter administration's civil service reform crown. The control it will give the White House over the action arm of government is the reason the White House was prepared to pay almost any price for reform.
Career employes who go into the SES - actual transfer will come in the fall - will be eligible for higher pay, bonuses and early retirement.They will also be "eligible" for relatively easy removal, transfers, moves to other agencies and relocation.
Officials who pushed the SES assure one and all that the political mix - 10 percent political appointees as against 90 percent 'career' executives will remain unchanged.
However new executives applying for the supergrade ranks will have to join SES. Those incumbents who elect to stay outside the SES will, for the most part, be left in backwater. They can forget about promotions. Within a decade, when most of the present crop of federal executives is gone from governmenrt, the SES will be an all-volunteer outfit. Obviously it is expected to be more "responsive" to whatever party controls the White House.
Moving up from the ranks is expected to be harder under the SES, Carter administration officials want more women, minorities and dynamic responsive types at the controls, both for reasons of equity and good politics. They expect, now, to make at least 30 percent of all appointments to the SES from outside the government.
It will be a couple of years before government insiders, or the public learn how the SES will function. But for the first recruits, decision day, the Ides of March, is just around the corner.
Leave Retirees Alone: Rep, Joseph Fisher (D-Va.) says he does not like reports the White House may eliminate one of the two annual cost-of-living raises U.S. and military retirees now get. Fisher says the government already has made enough adverse changes in pension plans without this new cut. He wrote President Carter asking for a pledge to leave the cost-of-living escalator alone.
Part-Time Jobs: Federal Trade Commission has openings for GS-11 level accountants, GS-9 through 12 research analysts, anti-trust attorneys, a GS-12 economist and clerk-typists. Also a full-time opening for GS-5 for 6 legal secretaries. Call 523-5049.
Getting A Federal Job: With competition tougher than ever (99 applicants for each job in some fields), the business of helping would-be federal workers is becoming a big business.
Already updated for the new civil service reforms is the $9.95 "How To . . . " get a job and get ahead, by David E. Waelde. It has 121 pages of indepth material explaining the procedures for getting on with Uncle Sam, and the terms that everybody involved in the bureaucracy must master. Waelde's offering a money-back guarantee. Write FEDHELP Publications, P.O. Box 9004, Washington 20003, or call 397-7704.
Federally-funded energy crisis? A piece in the January issue of Harper's dealing with the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has some unkind things to say about the Department of Energy (DOE). Author Craig S. Karpel suggests Doe is a make-work outfit that is helping keep the energy crunch going for its own survival. Says Karpel:
"An official of DOE, devoted more to the well-being of the country than to that of his agency suggested . . . not altogether facetiously, that the most effective way of breaking OPEC would be to eliminate the Department . . . 'Aside from OPEC there's not real energy problem,' he said, 'If OPEC were out of the picture there'd be no need for an energy department. We manage to get along without a steel department, after all. The existence of the DOE means that 17,000 hungry, cunning people in this town depend directly on OPEC for their livelihood.'"