The article "U.N. Questioned on Cost of Polishing Public Image" {Nov. 5} contains several factual errors and presents an incomplete and misleading picture of the use of consultants by the Department of Public Information.

It is incorrect to state that "730 consulting contracts" were issued in 1987. This figure corresponds, in fact, to the total number of staff members worldwide in the Department of Public Information.

It is true that a number of consultants were used to assist the new undersecretary general, Mrs. Paquet-Se'vigny, in the one-time task of reorganizing her department, but to date DPI has spent only 4 percent of the funds available annually to the entire United Nations Secretariat for consultants. As of September, DPI had spent only 60 percent of its allotment for consultants.

The contention that the sum of $5,000 was paid to Dorothy Sarnoff for spending "part of one day at the United Nations" training senior U.N. executives on how to be interviewed on television is also misleading. In fact, Dorothy Sarnoff designed and implemented a program for senior U.N. officials in public-speaking skills.

This program involved a series of pretraining consultations including the analysis of videotapes and speeches. The first session was paid for by an outside source as a donation to the U.N. DPI paid for the second. Skills gained in the program not only will be utilized by participants but will also provide valuable guidance for an in-house training program for middle-level U.N. officials.

Many leading Washington figures have gained valuable skills from Dorothy Sarnoff's training. The U.N. officials who participated in it also benefited greatly.

FRANCOIS GIULIANI Spokesman for the Secretary General United Nations New York