12 Jan 2006

American Samoan speaker wants mandatory drug testing

4:44 pm on 12 January 2006

The Speaker of the House in American Samoa, Matagi Ray McMoore, intends to revive a bill which would impose mandatory drug and alcohol testing for government employees.

Matagi says he would like to see the bill approved before the end of the current legislature.

The speaker is the sponsor of a bill still pending in the House that would require all governemnt emploees except court and elected officials to undergo random testing for alcohol and drugs.

When the bill was last reviewed in August of last year Assistant Attorney-General Frederick O'Brien testified before the House that, there is no question that there is a drug problem on the island.

But he said the question that needs to be asked is whether it is the users or the dealers that the government wants to catch.

Mr O'Brien questioned if the bill was necessary and pointed out that employees who are derelict in their duties because of the influence of alcohol or drugs can be dealt with under existing statute.