Hottest item in the Washington grapevine these days isn't scuttlebut about OPEC, the Kennedy-Carter race or Iran. It is where to find copies of a limited-edition fact sheet telling where to apply for $50,000-a-year federal job openings.

Like so many official documents, the weekly bulletin has an unsexy name: Senior Executive Service Vacancy Announcements. It is a gold mine for those who can beg, borrow or Xerox a copy. It gives updated listings of openings, qualifications and all-important telephone numbers would-be executives need to track down high-level vacancies.

The current job sheet lists 38 openings at the $47,889 to $50,100 range. The weekly offerings are literally worth their weight in gold to people in government, industry of betwen jobs who would like to help steer the ship of state.

The jobs are in the Senior Executive Service. That is the new elite corps created by the president's civil service reform. Idea was to create a high-risk, high-reward service that would give political appointees more flexibility to choose top career managers. Women and minorities are being encouraged to apply for jobs.

Office of Personnel Management puts out the weekly job list. Concerned that the limited editions give prefrence to insiders, OPM is looking for ways to expand distribution and hopes to make copies available for inspection at federal job information centers nationwide.

Subscribers to the Federal Times (554-7131); Federal Research Service (281-0200) and Federal Systems Inc. (471-1417) also will get to see the job data soon in regular issues.

Samples of some of the jobs listed in the current bulletin, with numbers to call for information include:

Assistant Deputy Director, 4-H Youth Development, Agriculture Department (344-3444) . . . Chief, Nuclear Safeguards Division (632-2034) . . . Director, Office of Leasing Policy, and assistant general counsel and deputy, Energy Department (633-8225) . . . Associate Deputy Assistant Administrator for EPA Water Programs (755-2625) . . . Associate General Counsel, EEOC (634-7000) . . . Deputy Bureau Chief, Federal Communications (632-7106) . . . Deputy Director of Personnel, HUD (755-7844) . . . Director, Personnel Research Center, OPM (632-7484).