From Carla Gammon, Acting Chief Component Human Capital Officer
Executive Order 12564, signed in 1986, established the goal of a Drug-Free Federal Workplace and made it a condition of employment for all federal employees to refrain from using illegal drugs on-duty or off-duty. Ensuring that employees refrain from the illegal use, possession, distribution, or trafficking of controlled substances included in Schedule I or II, as defined in Title 21 United States Code (U.S.C.) § 802(6), is of the utmost importance to the Department of Homeland Security.
To meet its obligation to establish and maintain a drug-free workplace, the Department of Homeland Security is developing a Management Directive and drafting a Drug-Free Workplace Plan. The Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan will be established and certified by Health and Human Services before implementation. DHS has set a goal of implementing the Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan by Feb. 1, 2013.
In collaboration with the Department of Homeland Security Chief Human Capital Officer, Department of Homeland Security Components have been working to draft the Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan. To date a list of Testing Designated Positions has been identified and submitted as part of the Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan. A Testing Designated Position is a position that has been identified by the Agency as one for which pre-employment and random drug is legally permissible.
Based on the Office of the Chief Component Human Capital Officer review, positions must be included within FEMA’s implementation plan if they are occupied by employees who are:
- Required to carry firearms on a regular basis;
- Operate motor vehicles carrying passengers;
- Presidential appointees requiring Senate confirmation; or
- Have access to truly sensitive information (e.g., national security material) defined at the Department of Homeland Security as requiring a minimum of a top secret security clearance, or higher.
All FEMA positions characterized by critical safety or security responsibilities were identified as Testing Designated Positions. These categories were also defined by the U.S. Department of Justice from a series of court cases testing provisions of the Federal Drug-Free Workplace Program and summarized in the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s, Guidance for Selection of Testing Designated Positions. In addition, the Office of Chief Counsel, Office of the Chief Security Officer, and Safety, Health, and Medical Readiness provided their review and concurrence.
FEMA managers should also be aware that reasonable suspicion testing may be required of any employee in any position when there is a reasonable suspicion of on-duty or off-duty illegal drug use or on-duty impairment from such use.
In preparation for launching a successful Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan, the FEMA Office of the Chief Component Human Capital Officer will issue a general notice reminder to all employees about the testing program no later than sixty (60) days prior to the implementation date of the Department of Homeland Security Drug-Free Workplace Plan. In addition, an individual notice will be distributed to all employees in the positions designated for testing no later than 30 (days) prior to implementation.
For additional information and planned activities related to this initiative please contact Derrick Allen at 202-212-4969 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.