The government will rely heavily on two new internal changes - the Senior Executive Service and streamlined rules allowing the fast-hire or noncareer employes - to fight the Energy War.
Most of the troops engaged in policy-making, expediting energy production or enforcement will come from the career ranks of government. Top federal officials say that, at this point, they do not expect any dramatic buildup of the bureaucracy. Some lower level career people, however, say major growth is inevitable.
Officials do anticipate major reshuffling in agencies. There will be dramatic shifts in "resources" (meaning people and dollars). Employes and funds will be pulled off "less important" programs. They will be put into battle against dependence on foreign oil in a government thrust that could dwarf the space race of the 1960s.
In terms of glamour bureaucratic assignments, "expeditors" - people who cut red tape and make things happen - stand to become the 1980s equivalent of astronauts.
The Energy War will be the first test of the SES. The elite corps was born last Friday with the idea that volunteers (96 percent of those asked accepted) will get better pay and assignments as a trade off for accepting less security and more mobility. The SES could make it easier for agencies to loan their best people for other assignments, rather than hiding them and trying to push off people they can best do without.
In past, some departments have been reluctant to give up their best people, just as the best often rejected crash-job assignments.Rather, bosses were known to send "trouble-makers" or "deadwood" to staff projects-of-the-moment. The hope was they would not return. SES, with a rank-in-person concept, could eliminate status worries of executives who now are supposed to seek mobility.
Acknowledging that past crash programs had often produced "turkey farm" units - of employes and officials who had been volunteered by their agencies, a senior Office of Personnel Management official said that." He anticipates that OPM will play a major role in personnel selection for energy-related agencies, or new programs in existing agencies.
Just before the president's speech, the OPM issued new rules (FPM Letter 213-26), which give agencies wide leeway to hire temporary employes without prior clearance up through Grade 15 ($38,160). They can be hired under so-called Schedule A authority, meaning they do not have to take regular civil service tests.
Under the power delegation from the OPM, persons may be hired under Schedule A authority for independent boards and commissions newly created by law or executive order. Employes hired cannot stay in government more than four years, and agencies may also take on the Schedule A people if - as in the Energy War - new boards, projects or work is created for them by Congress or the White House.