HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) _ United Technologies Corp. on Friday denied a report that its chairman received inside information on a competitor's bid from a convicted Navy procurement official.

The Wall Street Journal reported that company chairman Robert Daniell is under criminal investigation for allegedly receiving information that helped United Technologies win a military engine contract in 1987.

But in a letter circulated Friday to employees, senior vice president Frank McAbee said neither Daniell nor any other United Technologies employee received the inside information.

''I can tell you that Bob Daniell did not receive that information,'' McAbee said in the letter.

McAbee said the company believes ''that no UTC employee knowingly received stolen information, and we remain strongly committed to honest and ethical behavior at every level of the company.''

The Journal, quoting unnanmed sources, said federal prosecutors have a wiretapped telephone conversation indicating Daniell knew that Melvyn Paisley provided the critical data.

The Justice Department did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment on the newspaper story.

Paisley, the No. 2 civilian in the Navy for most of the Reagan administration, pleaded guilty last month to accepting bribes in exchange for helping two other large companies win more than $3 billion in military contracts. He is cooperating with the government.

In the letter to employees, McAbee said the company is cooperating with the Justice Department. He said he could not provide further details during the investigation. The Journal said the probe is expected to continue for several months.

Paisley left the Navy in 1987, taking with him details of General Electric Co.'s bid to supply jet engines to the military. The Journal said Paisley passed those documents along to an executive at United Technology's Pratt & Whitney engine unit.

The newspaper said prosecutors believe Pratt & Whitney officials were referring to Daniell when they told Paisley in a telephone conversation that a senior UTC official was ''pleased with the numbers.''

Daniell hasn't been charged with any crime. A United Technologies spokesman said he could neither confirm nor deny a Journal assertion that Daniell had retained an attorney.

The Journal said United Technologies is expected to claim that the reference on the tape is ambiguous.