The State Department is looking for a contractor to provide drug and steroid screening of all Diplomatic Security employees in Afghanistan and Jerusalem. The announcement was posted on FedBiz on Apr 29, 2013 per Solicitation Number: RFI(04292013):
The Department of State (DoS) Office of Diplomatic Security (DS) is concerned with the well-being of its employees, the successful accomplishment of agency missions, and the need to maintain employee productivity. Many of the DS-hired U.S. Citizen (USC) and Third Country National (TCN) direct hire and/or contract positions in Afghanistan and Jerusalem involve the use of weapons and access to highly sensitive information that must not be compromised. It is critically important that such armed employees, or those employees exposed to extreme conditions, be reliable, stable, and show good use of judgment. Illegal drug and steroid use creates the possibility of coercion, influence, and irresponsible action under pressure, all of which may pose a serious risk to national defense, public safety, and security. Prior to deployment, all employees certify that drug testing and steroid screening is a nonnegotiable condition of employment.
This performance work statement defines the drug and steroid testing requirements (hereinafter referred to as “Substance Screening”) applicable to DS-hired USC and TCN direct hires and/or contract positions in Afghanistan and Jerusalem. In this document, DS will be referred to as the DS who will receive support from the Contractor. Employee will be the all-encompassing term for DS direct hires, personal services contractors, or third party contractors.
Below is part of the Scope of Work posted with the solicitation:
The Contractor shall be licensed to operate through the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (GIRoA) and Government of Israel, and shall be in full compliance with host country business requirements. The Contractor will be self-sufficient and required to provide all life support, travel and security needs for staff. In addition, the Contractor shall support all shipping, maintenance, and housing of equipment necessary to perform services. The Contractor will provide all resources to perform random and non-random Substance Screening, preferably at the following locations, with the corresponding number of estimated employees:
• Kabul: 1300
• Mazar e-Sharif: 150
• Herat: 175
• Jerusalem: 55
Random screening will be on a semiannual basis (every six months) as well as non-random substance testing. All random and non-random substance testing performed shall comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules (http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/privacy/hipaa/understanding/summary/i
The Contractor shall be prepared to test for the following drugs utilizing a rapid urine test in Afghanistan and/or Israel, except for Steroid:
- Steroid: Refer to the following commonly abused steroids on the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NISA) website or at Steroidabuse.gov.
Security contractors in Afghanistan, particularly those in Kabul have a um… colorful history (see POGO writes to Secretary Clinton about US Embassy Kabul Guards) so it’s only surprising that it took this long. But it is curious about Jerusalem though, isn’t it? Anyone knows what prompted this?
Update: We understand from a blog pal that this may not be anything new as apparently drug screening is routinely done for “high threat protection” contractors. Jerusalem has protection contractors that predates both Iraq and Afghanistan as it covers all official travel to Gaza and the West Bank. But according to a Q&A posted online on FedBiz, these drug tests have not been performed in Israel in the past.