With Howard Messner, No. 2 in OMB's management division about to head off to become comptroller of the Energy Department, deputy director Joseph R. Wright and associate director Harold I. Steinberg are contemplating a reorganization of OMB's management side. The cards available for reshuffling are the office of personnel policy and compensation and the intergovernmental affairs and financial management divisions. Rumors abound, but nothing seems firm yet. ***

HISTORIC PRESERVATION . . . Now that a streamlining of state, local and federal planning reviews has been completed, OMB's intergovernmental affairs division can turn its attention to the issue of historic preservation. The goal of preserving history, usually meaning buildings, is enshrined in several laws, and agencies from the Transportation Department to the Army Corps of Engineers to the Interior Department to the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation have ideas or rules on how state and local building projects should proceed. The White House Task Force on Regulatory Relief has wanted this regulatory underbrush cleared for a long time. It is up to OMB to figure out how to go about it. One issue OMB must tackle: whether to appoint a "lead agency" to determine government policy, a move likely to put other agencies' noses out of joint.