PALAU CONGRESSIONAL EMPLOYEES TO UNDERGO DRUG TESTS

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By Nazario Rodriguez Jr.

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Nov. 1) - Six staff members of the Republic of Palau House of Delegates are scheduled to undergo [random] drug testing next week, according to a press statement from the office of Speaker Augustine Mesebeluu sent through fax to Palau Horizon yesterday.

The drug test would be for marijuana and methamphetamine (popularly known as ice or shabu).

The press statement said that the random testing of other employees of the House of Delegates would continue at the discretion of the Speaker and the Leadership of the House.

"In our continuing efforts to preserve and protect the integrity of the House of Delegates, 7th Olbiil Era Kelulau, we must be assured that as public servants, the staff we employ are worthy of the trust we bestow on them so that they ably assist us in serving effectively our constituents," Mesebeluu said.

Mesebeluu said that the employees should be at the very least, drug free to effectively fulfill their duties.

"Although many are veteran employees in good standing, we feel that in the spirit of transparency and with the milestone relocation to our New Capitol, this is only appropriate," Mesebeluu said.

He said that each applicant, to include those in their current positions agreed to submit to the test.

"As such we will begin testing those in positions of supervisory and managerial capacity as they set the direction for the implementation of the work of the House support staff," Mesebeluu noted.

The Ministry of Health will conduct the test.

But the resolution applies only to non-elected House of Delegates employees.

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