In the void caused by delays in the confirmation of a new chief of the General Services Administration, bureaucratic infighting has broken out again at the agency, according to officials at GSA, the White House and on Capitol Hill.
The heart of the problem, the officials said, is that the nomination of Jack Courtemanche, President Reagan's nominee to succeed Gerald P. Carmen, is stalled in the Senate. Without an on-the-scenes political leader, GSA officials said bureaucrats are jockey- ing to win Courtemanche's ear and trying to stake out turf.
A former California businessman, Courtemanche is the subject of a pending lawsuit over financial reports used when he sold his old business. Senate and GSA sources said that until the case is resolved in court, Courtemanche would like to keep it under wraps. Senate Democrats, however, will not agree to Courtemanche's request for a closed-door hearing. "Unprecedented," said one Democratic committee aide.
Courtemanche, however, said that is not the problem: "There's a crowded Senate calendar -- I guess they the Republican majority just can't find time for the hearing."
Meanwhile, at GSA:
*Patricia Q. Schoeni, associate administrator for administration, tried unsuccessfully to help federal stockpile chief Wayne Kulig unseat acting Federal Property Resources Commissioner Earl C. Jones.
*Schoeni and Charles S. (Terry) Davis III, associate administrator for operations, have quarreled over Schoeni's involvement in personnel issues in GSA regional offices.
*Much to the consternation of most senior officials, acting administrator Ray Kline has ordered Patrick H. McKelvey, new director of public affairs, to restrict release of public information to the media because it is an election year and to monitor press contacts and tape interviews by reporters.