5 Oct 2012

Corrections backtracks over failed drug tests

7:38 pm on 5 October 2012

The Department of Corrections has scrambled to back away from suggestions it might start telling police about who fails its pre-employment drug tests.

The department began the regime in February this year and has conducted 336 drug tests on prospective employees at a cost of $20,311.30.

One applicant was found with non-prescription morphine in their system and another with cannabis.

After considering whether it should refer the results of positive tests to police, Corrections has decided against the move on Friday.

The Drug Foundation says police would laugh at Corrections for even suggesting a prosecution, as there is no law against drugs being in a person's blood.

But the Privacy Commissioner's Office is not so dismissive, saying Corrections would be well within its rights to alert police of any positive drug tests it uncovers.

Police vetting of Corrections applicants has also been inceased. Since February, 10 candidates have failed their police check and missed out on a job.