For a man who campaigned so strenuously against federal bureaucracy and paperwork, Ronald Reagan has created a remarkable quantity of both in the last 10 days.
The Reagan transition team, a taxpayer-funded federal agency complete with its own building, budget ($2 million), letterhead ("Office of the President-Elect"), zip code (20270), public relations apparatus, advisory commissions (at least 84 of them), and motor pool, is the fastest growing office Washington has seen since -- well, since Jimmy Carter came to town and set up his transition office four years ago this month.
The government-in-waiting is also, for the moment, the most interesting show in town for politicians and policy buffs and for the several thousand people who have flooded the new office's mail room with resumes. While the real government goes through the motions for the next two months, it is the transition team that will determine, in part, how much of a change the new president can bring about next January when he takes over a bureaucracy that is notoriously impervious to reformers in the White House.
To help keep an eye on the shadow government, The Washington Post today provides the accompanying organization chart for this newest federal agency. It is worth noting that any chart tends to create an impression that allocations of responsibility and lines of authority are clear-cut. In the transition office, such things are somewhat unsettled as yet.
The Washington transition office, for all its bigness and bustle, will probably not have much to do with some of the most important decisions facing the president-elect.
Reagan's Cabinet, his top White House staff, and the heads of the three dozen most important independent agencies will be chosen across the continent by the president-elect, his senior staff advisers, and the old friends and advisers who make up what Reagan calls his "kitchen cabinet."
This group includes businessmen Holmes Tuttle and Justin Dart and Reagan's lawyer, William French Smith, who were the nucleus of the group that first convinced Reagan to enter politics in 1965. While Reagan is in Washington this week, this "kitchen cabinet" will be meeting at Smith's law office in Los Angeles to compile a tentative list of Cabinet choices.
Similarly, the senior advisers -- such as former treasury secretary George Shultz and former White House economist Alan Greenspan -- who are working with Reagan this weekend on economic issues have no clear position in the transition hierarchy.
The chief link between these ranking Reagan advisers and the formal transition apparatus is Edwin Meese III, Reagan's long-time chief of staff, who is the director of the "Office of the President-Elect" here. Under Meese are several deputy directors responsible for specific tasks.
In the transition team's "think tank" on the ninth floor of the M Street NW office, policy planners Martin Anderson, Caspar Weinberger and Richard V. Allen are responsible for blueprints of legislative and regulatory programs in the domestic, economic, and foreign policy areas, respectively. To provide ideas, the transition staff has set up 48 advisory groups in particular fields. There are also 17 congressional advisory groups and 19 more established by the Washington-based Heritage Foundation.
On the sixth floor, meanwhile, William E. Timmons oversees a sprawling network of liaison teams. He has divided the executive branch into five "issue clusters," with a director for each one, and the cluster directors, in turn, are responsible for transition teams that will be set up in about 100 different agencies. Timmons also has hegemony over a congressional relations office run by Tom C. Korologos, a partner in Timmons' lobbying firm. Businessman Drew Lewis runs a separate office for liaison with state and local officials.
Ensconced on the fifth floor are the offices of executive recruiter E. Pendleton James and his assistant, Tom Dawson, whose computers hold the names of people in line for the several thousand government jobs the new president can bestow.