Mayor Marion Barry yesterday unveiled a sweeping reorganization plan that will downgrade the role of the city administrator and allow Barry to remain more aloof from the city's day-to-day operations, while spreading his political control more widely through the government.

City Administrator Elijah B. Rogers, a professional city manager who was recruited four years ago to overhaul the much-criticized D.C. bureaucracy, will leave his post in May, it was announced yesterday.

Ivanhoe Donaldson, Barry's top political adviser and the chief architect of the reorganization, will become one of three new deputy mayors who will effectively assume the day-to-day responsibility for government operations that Rogers has had to himself for the past four years.

The plan calls for Donaldson, who managed Barry's 1978 and 1982 mayoral campaigns and served as Barry's general assistant during the early years of his first term, to oversee the city's economic development programs, but he is expected to continue to advise the mayor on a wide range of issues.

City Comptroller Alphonse G. Hill, who has major responsibility for the city's cash flow, was appointed deputy mayor for financial management.

He will lead the effort to handle a potential $110 million deficit for the current fiscal year.

The third major new post--deputy mayor for operations, with responsibility for administering the vast majority of city agencies--will be held by Rogers until he leaves. Thomas M. Downs, the city's director of transportation whose jurisdiction was expanded yesterday to include public works, is expected to eventually fill that crucial deputy mayor's post.

Although the position of city administrator is mandated by the city's charter, it is up to the mayor to determine the scope of the job. Julian R. Dugas, who served as city administrator under former Mayor Walter E. Washington, had a small staff and was often primarily a troubleshooter. Rogers, however, became the city's second most powerful offical under Barry, surrounding himself with dozens of assistants and becoming the de facto head of government operations.

But Donaldson, who headed Barry's transition team, said recently that the administration now believes it was impractical to concentrate so much on-line responsibility in one person, and that as a result Barry was forced to involve himself in many decisions that need not require his attention. The deputy mayor system is designed to address that concern.

Clifton Smith, a top aide to D.C. Del. Walter Fauntroy, was appointed to another new position of staff director to the mayor, to oversee the work of Barry's new line-up of special assistants.

In announcing his reorganization plan yesterday, which includes the appointment or reassignment of 42 officials, Barry indicated he had sought "team players" or political supporters whom he could trust.

Asked whether he would take a more political approach to running the bureaucracy, the mayor replied: "I've always said that anything a mayor does is political--sometimes less and sometimes more. . . . You learn from the past in order to better plan the future, and I concluded that this configuration best meets the needs of the citizens of the District of Columbia, best fits my management style and best works within my philosophical and programatic framework."

Barry said he has the authority to name the deputy mayors without City Council approval.

The council must approve Barry's choices to head D.C. government agencies.

Of the proposed reorganization plan, City Council President-elect David A. Clarke said, "I'm not persuaded that the plan is good or bad or that it means that much."

Clarke said he believes the plan will give Barry "greater control" over his top advisers and key units of the mayor's office. "When you get to the level of delivery of services to the citizens, I'm not sure it will make much of a difference," Clarke said.

Barry said yesterday, without elaboration, that he agreed with most of the policy recommendations of his transition team. He also said the growth in the city's prison population "may force us to build additional facilities at enormous cost to taxpayers," but provided no other details.

Barry made wide-ranging changes in his top managment team.

Budget director Gladys W. Mack will take a new position in the mayor's office as director of policy and program evaluation. She will be replaced by Elizabeth Cairns Reveal, 33, now an official of the New York Financial Control Board and previously head of the D.C. Office of Criminal Justice Plans and Analysis.

William H. Rumsey, the long-time director of the Department of Recreation, will take a specially created post in the mayor's office as an adviser on youth before he retires next year. Barry nominated Alexis H. Roberson, deputy director since 1980, to replace Rumsey.

Several top officials who lost their posts or left on their own included Harold T. Henson, director of the Department of General Services; Lindell Tinsley, director of the Office of Campaign Finance; George Holland, acting director of the Department of Corrections; Barbara Washington, chief of the city's intergovernmental relations office; planning director James O. Gibson; Finance and Revenue Director Carolyn Smith; and Edward Meyers, director of the Office of Communications.

Henson was replaced by John Touchstone, a Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments official; Tinsley by Keith Vance, a former Federal Elections Commission management analyst, and Holland by James F. Palmer, chief assistant U.S. marshal for the District of Columbia and one of Barry's closest personal friends.

Washington was replaced by Pauline A. Schneider, a former congressional liaison in the Carter White House, while Gibson was replaced by John (Skip) McKoy, who has been executive director of the planning office.

Barry plans to reorganize several departments and create a new department of licensing and regulation that will be headed by Carol Thompson, current acting director of the Department of Licenses, Investigations and Inspections.

James Buford will remain as the director of the Department of Human Services for another five months, and then plans to leave the government to open a local consulting firm. Dr. Ernest Hardaway, the deputy commissioner of public health for the past year, was appointed the commissioner.

Madeline Petty, acting director of the Department of Housing and Community Development, will stay on until a permanent replacement for former director Robert L. Moore can be found.

Some of Barry's top officials who are staying in their posts include Police Chief Maurice Turner; Fire Chief Theodore Coleman; Corporation Counsel Judith W. Rogers; Employment Services Director Matthew Shannon; Environmental Services Director William Johnson, and Director of Finance Jeffrey Humber.

Mayoral aide Dwight Cropp was reappointed as executive secretary and Courtland V. Cox, special assistant to the mayor, will move over to become an aide to Donaldson.

The new team completes a transformation of the city bureaucracy that Barry and Donaldson began when Barry succeeded Walter E. Washington as mayor in 1979.

Significantly, the leadership of the new administration includes no major department head or top adviser who was in a similar position when Barry took office. Its members are generally younger and in many instances less experienced in government than those under Washington.

Donaldson, for instance, is a former civil rights activist who has known and worked with Barry for 20 years, as are several others in the new administration, like Cox and new chief of staff Smith.

Barry also has drawn heavily from his past political campaigns in his retention of special assistant Mary Lampson, Social Services Commissioner Audrey Rowe, community services coordinator Anita Bonds and others.

He has kept on some city government bureaucrats who rose from relative obscurity and earned his confidence over the past four years -- particularly Downs, an assistant in the Washington administration. And there are old friends, like Palmer, the new Corrections chief.

The three men who eventually will form the nucleus of the new management team each came to their new posts via different routes.

Downs, who was in the city bureaucracy when Barry took over in 1979, will retain his job as director of transportaion and initially assume the new position of director of public works. A former executive director of the the federal Urban Mass Transportation administration and a former White House Fellow, Downs has reputation as a skilled administrator.

Hill, a former partner in a Chicago accounting firm who became city controller in 1979, will become the city's chief tax and budget strategist as deputy mayor for finance. His new duties are expected to thrust him into becoming the city's chief public spokesman on budget issues, taking over a role previously assigned to Mack.