A committee on city management met yesterday for the first time, with instructions from Mayor Sharon Pratt Dixon to help pinpoint the bloat throughout D.C. government.

Dixon recently appointed the management advisory committee to recommend steps for streamlining the city bureaucracy and to identify the 2,000 mid-level managers she promised to cut from the government payroll, aides said.

Shortly after Dixon took office last week, she pulled back from her campaign pledge to solve the budget crisis by immediately firing 2,000 city workers. Her aides said that such a move could not be implemented in time to save much money in the current fiscal year.

The District faces a projected $300 million budget shortfall for the year ending Sept. 30. In trying to close the deficit, Dixon has ordered spending reductions totaling $130 million, asked city workers to defer pay raises and is seeking a special $100 million appropriation from Congress.

Dixon told advisory committee members yesterday that their recommendations for reducing bloat are not expected to help solve "the immediate emergency," but should help resolve financial difficulties in the coming year.

"Nothing should be exempt from this process," Dixon told committee members. "I believe we can cut a lot of that management bloat in a way that will actually save the government money and at the same time improve efficiency."

The committee is headed by Robert D. McLean, managing partner of the Sidley & Austin law firm, and Claudine B. Malone, president of Financial Management Consulting Inc.

Other committee members include former D.C. mayor Walter E. Washington; John J. Barry, president of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and other labor leaders; Bertram M. Lee, chairman of Albimar Communications/WKYS-FM; W. Reid Thompson, chairman of Potomac Electric Power Co.; and several top executives with local management consulting firms.

Dixon spokesman Paul Costello said the committee will serve as a standing advisory committee that will advise Dixon on management and efficiency throughout her administration. The committee's first task is to report back to Dixon in 30 to 60 days with proposals for streamlining two of the city's largest agencies, the Department of Human Services and the Department of Public Works, according to Costello.

One of the group's main tasks will be to build upon the work of the recent Rivlin Commission, which recommended wide changes in the way D.C. agencies do business. The commission said that as many as 6,000 city positions could be eliminated without a decline in services to D.C. residents.

"It is really {supposed} to pick up on the Rivlin report and be the vehicle to turn the Rivlin report into reality," Costello said.

A separate group, headed by federal Office of Personnel Management Direrctor Constance B. Newman, is performing a more immediate review of the city's personnel system and should report back to Dixon within three weeks, Costello said.

Critics of the personnel system have said it is difficult to fire or transfer workers under the city's civil service rules. Sources said part of the Newman committee responsibility is to try to devise strategies to enable the city to carry out a reduction in force.