Beginning in March, incumbent careerists in Grades 16, 17 and 18 will be asked if they want to join the new SES. It is envisioned as the elite management corps where executives will trade off tenure for the opportunity of greater career challenges and handsome bonuses for prformance.

SES members will be paid from $44,756 to $47,500. In addition, they will be eligible for annual bonuses of up to $10,000 and for special awards worth even more. A rank-in-person system will be established, and SES members who refuse reassignment or different jobs can be demoted or fired.

Campbell believes the result will be a cadre of executives "who have a sense of working for the government in general, rather than for an agency or program." Mobility will be stressed, Campbell said, and SES members will have "more varied career assignments" than today's supergrade who typically stays in one job while in government.

Campbell said the mobility and rank-in-person concept should produce executives who are "not wedded" to programs, but who can "shift gears" when Congress or the president set new priorities. He said there should be "less foot dragging... because people will not be so busy protecting their turf to protect their jobs."

New people joining the upper ranks of government will be required to come into the SES. In a relatively short time, Cambpell believes, it should produce a group "whose competence is unquestioned." Executives who don't measure up, or who "burn out," Campbell said, can be offered early retirement incentives. Those whose work is not up to SES standards can be reassigned downward or fired "much easier than now."

Present career executives will have until mid-June to decide to enter the SES. Those who stay out, Campbell said, will be protected in their present jobs. But he said he doubted that many non-joiners woul move up on pay or responsibility, "because they will be in competition with SES members who are willing to take risks and new assignments.'