The District of Columbia has decided to refund $5,880 in parking fees to a dozen of its own present and former officials who paid for parking in a lot outside the District Building that since has been made free.

The city also has decided to forgive $17,935 in parking fees that it claims was owed between 1976 and 1978 but never paid by 19 other officials, including Marion Barry, then a city Council member and now the mayor.

The decision to make the refunds was reached recently by Robert E. McCally, a deputy corporation counsel. By law, the Corporation Counsel's Office must review and consent to any forgiveness of debt due the city.

Making the refunds would "prevent inequitable treatment" for those who paid their parking bills rather than rejecting them, McCally wrote.

The issue began in 1976, when the council passed a resolution exempting itself from parking fees that then-Mayor Walter E. Washington imposed on city employes.

The action was later ruled invalid, and the city's Department of General Services sent bills to council members and a group of other employes who occupied a lot outside the District Building. Mayor Marion Barry decided early this year that the lot should be free for its assigned users.

A list of those who will get refunds, obtained by The Washington Post under the Freedom of Information Act, includes Joseph P. Yeldell, who was a general assistant to Mayor Washington and is now awaiting retrial on bribery and conspiracy charges. Yeldell will get a $970 refund.

The biggest refund, $1,095, will go to city budget director Glady's W. Mack.

Others scheduled to get refunds are:

James W. Baldwin, former executive director of the Office of Human Rights, $890; Richard Barton, a deputy corporation counsel, $925; Carlyn Carter, assistant planning director, $135; Ben W. Gilbert, former planning director, $970; Clinton Mcdonald, executive secretary of the Board of Appeals and Review, $135.

Also, M. Brent Oldham, chairman of the Board of Appeals and review, $1,015 Louis P. Robbins, principal deputy corporation counsel, $270; council member Wilhelmina J. Rolark (D-Ward 8), $405; Martin K. Schaller, former executive secretary of the D.C. government $1,015, and Matthew S. Watson, D.C. auditor, $245.

Present and former members of the council whose parking charges were listed as forgiven are:

Marion Barry, $1,230; David A. Clarke, $1,050; Arrington Dixon, $1,050; Willie J. Hardy, $1,250.45; Hilda Mason, $830.45; Douglas Moore, $1,230; Jerry A. Moore, $1,250.45; Wilhelmina Rolark, $155.45; Polly Shackleton, $1,250.45; William Spaulding, $1,250.45; John A. Wilson, $1,250.45, and Nadine P. Winter, $1,250.45

Other officials whose parking charges were listed as forgiven are:

Rodney Coleman, former special Assitant to the council chairman, $1,1230; Sylvia Edwards, former legislative counsel to the council, $515.45; Glady's W. Mack, budget director, $155.45; Martin Schaller, former executive secretary, $180; Edward B. Webb, former general counsel to the council, council, $1.250.45, and James W. Baldwin, former human rights director, $305.