The White House has taken direct control of all political (Schedule C) hiring in government for the remainder of the Carter Administration. Cabinet officials and agency heads have been told to clear all Schedule C hires through the White House and not to take anyone on board the departing ship of state until somebody on the Carter staff first okays it.

Schedule C is the designation for persons hired outside of regular civil service procedures. The jobs are of a political, policy-making or confidential nature, paying from $15,000 to $50,000 per year.

Purpose of the White House order is two-fold. Insiders say the primary aim to to make sure that political appointees who took leave from government to work in the Carter-Mondale campaign or Democratic House and Senate races, have jobs to come back to -- at least until Ronald Reagan is sworn in as president. Officials say the president also wants to prevent last-ditch wholesale hiring to Schedule C personnel who might then attempt to "burrow" into civil service jobs where it would be difficult for the Reagan people to find or remove them. Be that as it may, a massive burrowing has been under way for the last few months as Democratic appointees began to read the handwriting on the electrol wall, and began the ritual of "converting" to career civil service status to make them more fire-proof.