The next edition of the "plum book," the winners' guide to patronage jobs in government, will for the first time include the names of more than 6,000 career federal executives whose positions are not part of the victors' spoils.
The guidebook, published after every presidential election and officially called "Policy and Supporting Positions," is designed to help a new administration figure out who it can and should replace. Around Washington it is known simply as the plum book.
The House Post Office-Civil Service Committee and the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee rotate the job of compiling the names, grades and salary data for the book. This year it is the Senate committee's turn.
The 1980 edition listed several thousand jobs -- from cabinet officers to their chauffeurs and secretaries -- that are either of a political, policy-making or confidential nature that excludes them from civil service protection.
This year, by joint agreement of Democrats and Republicans on the Senate committee, the book will include names of 6,200 members of the Senior Executive Service, along with those of their political bosses. The SES, with an authorized strength of 7,000, is made up of 90 percent career and 10 percent political appointees. In January, pay for SES members will range from $61,296 to $72,300.
By law the SES, created by President Carter, splits the career ranks of the SES into two categories. So-called "career reserve jobs," which make up 42 percent of the total, are limited to civil servants and cannot be filled by political appointees. Most executive positions at the IRS, for example, are career reserve.
Any job in the "general" category can be filled by either career or political executivesas long as the overall SES mix remains 90 percent career and 10 percent political.
Dave Burckman, a former Treasury Department career executive who is president of the Senior Executives Association, a professional organization representing many of the senior civil servants, has written to the committee and White House protesting the plan to include SES members in the plum book. .
He fears that listing the career SES people will "target" them as possible people to be replaced in the next administration, whether it is a Reagan or Mondale administration.
For instance, Burckman said, "All of the government's personnel directors are in the 'general' category, and if you wanted to take over the civil service they would be good people to replace."
The Senate committee, however, says there is nothing sinister in the decision to list the career people in the political plum book.
"Listing only the SES jobs that are filled by political appointees would be confusing -- and was confusing four years ago ," a committee aide said, "because it creates the impression that only those jobs can be filled by political appointees."
In fact, the aide said, "any of the 'general' jobs can be filled by non-career political appointees, as long as the 90-10 career-political mix is maintained."