A blueprint for the quick takeover and turn-around of the federal bureaucracy urges the president-elect to pick his top team quickly -- the first 100 key aides by early December; the next 300 by Jan. 5 -- and to begin selecting the 2,000-plus political managers who will run the Reagan administration before Inauguration Day.
The propsal, which will go to the Reagan transition team soon, advises the White House to set up a strong personnel office that will keep tight control over all subcabinet appointments.
The 3,000-page report was prepared over the last year by the conservative Heritage Foundation. It advises incoming Republicans to use President Carter's Civil Service Reform Act to get new appointees on the payroll and in government agencies quickly to learn from, and observe the actions of, people they will replace. It recommends that the White House keep a close eye on who is picked for deputy cabinet posts to ensure that they are loyal to administration goals, not just friends of cabinet officers.
Still in draft form, the recommendations were compiled by a team of foundation staffers plus more than 250 volunteers from the private sector, Capitol Hill and the executive branch of government. It contains 20 sections. They deal with major departments, the Postal Service, intelligence agencies and the complicated process of taking hold of the vast federal machine -- and its 2.7 million workers -- to make it shift gears and respond promptly to the wishes and programs of a new president.
Much of the work on the report's civil service side was handled by a 13-man team headed by local lawyer (and one-time general counsel of the Arms Control and Disarmament Agency) James L. Malone. Advice on civil service disciplinary and removal actions was provided by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a Sacramento law firm with offices here.
Although the report was not ordered by the Reagan team, the Heritage Foundation has close ties with conservative GOP leaders. Reagan chief-of-staff Edwin Meese has said the think tank is one of many sources to be tapped by the new administration for advice and talent scout assistance.The foundation is developing a "talent bank" of persons willing and able to serve the new president.
Here are some of the recommendations from the draft report:
That the incoming administration pick its top people as quickly as possible and have as many of the 2,700 political and policy-making positions -- outlined in the Plum Book -- designated so that the Reagan team can be off and running as soon as he is sworn in.
That the Office of Personnel Management be asked to put non-career personnel chosen by the Reagan administratuon on the U.S. payroll "as quickly as possible" so they can earn while they learn.
That cabinet and subcabinet officers be made aware of the powers they have, and do not have, to hire and fire. It notes that the Civil Service Reform Act allows quickie appointments under the "limited term" authority to fill some Senior Executive Service jobs for up to three years; and that officials can name a limited number of noncareer people under the act's "limited emergency" authority for maximum 18-month assignments. Both could be used to overlay the career bureaucracy and direct policy until deeper changes could be made in the makeup of the top-level federal power structure.
That a new look be taken at the "overuse" of programs designed to bring women and minorities into government for short-term political benefits. It proposes that the Reagan administration develop long-range plans for hiring women and minorities, plans that address "the fundamental question of merit staffing and equal opportunity . . . " rather than for political window dressing.
Says the Carter White House staff has doubled in size and cost. It questions many functions designed "simply to make the president look good." It says organization should be studied before major changes are made but it says the nation could live without the office headed by Hugh Carter, the president's cousin.It says cousin Carter has a staff of six but the duties of the office are unknown. "Unless the incoming president has an unemployed relative it [the office] probably should be abolished," the report says.