Michael E. Basham, deputy assistant secretary for federal finance at the U.S. Treasury Department, will join Smith Barney, Harris Upham & Co. as managing director, effective Sept. 3.

Smith Barney said Mr. Basham, who headed the government bond department of Wertheim Schroder & Co. in New York before joining the Treasury in 1989, will be in charge of developing privatization projects for state and local governments. The firm formed an interdepartmental group to promote privatization earlier this year.

Smith Barney's chairman and chief executive officer, Frank G. Zarb, said the firm believes, "the moment has arrived for dedicating additional people and resources to extending the concept on a national scale to interested government bodies looking to privatize selected publis services."

Mr. Basham will work closely with the firm's public and corporate finance divisions and will report to James S. Boshart 3d, executive vice president and director of public finance.

The Treasury announced Monday that Mr. Basham was resigning, effective Aug. 15. He was principal adviser to Secretary Nicholas Brady and other senior Treasury officials in the formulation of federal credit policy and the government's debt management policy.

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