Guy Draper, who stepped down yesterday as the District's acting protocol chief, yesterday turned in his $12,500 report on whether an Office of Protocol and International Affairs should be created.

And, to no one's surprise, he recommended that it should.

The District government had paid Draper to prepare the report while he was serving officially as an unpaid chief of protocol. The report was released yesterday by Dwight S. Cropp, executive secretary of the D.C. government, who also issued a statement thanking Draper for his research.

Draper said that the data he collected -- primarily interviews with local business leaders, District officials, and protocol officials in other cities -- "strongly supports" the idea of a permanent protocol office for the District.

However, the report adds that the D.C. Government does not currently have the funds to pay for such an office, and suggested the District turn to foundations, the federal government and the private sector to support it.

Draper recommends that a six-person protocol office be budgeted at approximately $150,000 a year. If that is not possible, he recommends that a four-person office, costing nearly $90,000 a year be established.

In either case, the office would be led by a $34,000-per-year chief of protocol and international affairs, who would advise city government on protocol, represent the mayor at some functions, plan official visits and arrange travel abroad for District officials.

Research for the report included interviews with protocol officials in Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, San Francisco and Atlanta. New York spends $200,000 on its protocol office annually, the report states, but the other cities all spend substantially less than the $150,000 recommend by Draper. Atlanta spends $25,000 and San Francisco, $35,000 with that city's funds coming from the private sector.

Also interviewed -- and listed as favoring the proposed protocol office -- were Ivanhoe Donaldson, the mayor's general assistant; Herbert Reid, the mayor's lawyer; and representatives of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and Greater Washington Board of Trade.