Speaking of RIFs at the Education Department, the Office of Personnel Management is wrapping up a review of personnel in several offices within the department, a precursor to deciding who eventually will be pruned from the federal payroll. In a series of interviews and audits, OPM figures to find out which employes are doing what work and what civil service grade they should hold.

On the basis of that information, OPM may recommend reclassification of some employes. While the recommendations could be for a higher civil service grade, it is likely that most of the recommendations will be for downgradings. And downgradings generally are regarded as a way to encourage employes to seek employment elsewhere.

The offices under review are among the ones that a departmental task force targeted for deep personnel cuts in fiscal 1983 and 1984--among them Borcherdt's own office of intergovernmental and interagency affairs. In a report submitted recently to Secretary Terrel H. Bell, the task force suggested a 44 percent cutback in that office this fiscal year. OPM is auditing about 30 positions in Borcherdt's domain, which currently has slightly more than 50 employes.

OPM also is conducting 193 audits and interviews in the Office of Management, which the task force targeted for cuts of 60 positions in both fiscal 1983 and 1984. Thirty-two audits and interviews were slated at the National Institute of Education. NIE is part of the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, where the task force would like to lop 66 jobs overall this year and 49 next year.