PSC chairman supports EPC drug test proposal

Public Service Commission chairman, Aiono Mose Sua, says he supports the move by the Electric Power Corporation (EPC) to get its employees to undergo mandatory drug tests. 

He said the nature of the job at the corporation and the importance of safety is justification for the EPC to put in place such a policy.

“They (EPC) have to, their employees climb electrical poles and their job is quite dangerous and they have to. But I don’t know about us (Government employees). Under the law (as governed by the Public Service Commission and the Crimes Act), it is illegal to take drugs. period. That is the law,” he said. 

Aiono then referred questions from the Samoa Observer to the Attorney General, Lemalu Hermann Retzlaff.

“You should ask the Attorney General and he knows the law. But under PSC Code of Conduct, if anyone is caught taking drugs that is a misconduct,” he added. 

But the Ministry of Works Transport and Infrastructure (MWTI) Chief Executive Officer, Magele Hoe Viali, doesnt think there is a drug abuse problem amongst Government employees. 

“Taking illicit drugs is a criminal activity and Government employees are treated the same as any other ordinary citizen that is involved with taking drugs.”

When he was asked whether drug test of public servants should be done, Magele disagreed with the proposition. 

“Drug testing is an extreme measure to control a major problem and I don’t think it is a major problem now with Government employees.  

“If our Police suspects any Government employee to be taking drugs, they should be investigated or if a Ministry suspects its staff are taking illicit drugs, they should be reported to the Police for investigation,” he added. 

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