31:0009(2)NG - Office of Professional Employees, International Union, Local 268 and Energy -- 1988 FLRAdec NG



[ v31 p9 ]
31:0009(2)NG
The decision of the Authority follows:


31 FLRA NO. 2

OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL
EMPLOYEES, INTERNATIONAL
UNION, AFL-CIO, LOCAL 268

                   Union

         and

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

                   Agency

Case No. O-NG-1314

                        DECISION AND ORDER ON NEGOTIABILITY ISSUE

     I. Statement of the Case

     This case is before the Authority because of a negotiability
appeal filed under section 7105 (a)(2)(E) of the Federal Service
Labor - Management Relations Statute (the Statute). The case
concerns the negotiability of a single proposal which requires
that drug-detection dogs not be used to search for drugs or
contraband in agency buildings and grounds. For the reasons which
follow, we hold that the proposal is outside the duty to bargain
because it directly interferes with the Agency's right to
determine its internal security practices under section
7106(a)(1) of the Statute.

     II. Background

     The Agency's Oak Ridge Office (ORO), where the bargaining
unit is located, performs a number of functions including:
nuclear research and development; uranium enrichment; activities
related to defense and weapons programs; and oversight of the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve Project. In order to provide a "work
environment that is safe, productive, healthy, wholesome and free
of alcohol and illegal drugs(,)" the Agency sought to implement a
number of drug-detection techniques including using
drug-detection dogs to examine work spaces during non-working
hours. See Attachment A to Statement of Position. 

     III. Proposal

     During impact and implementation bargaining on
implementation of the Agency's policy, the Union submitted the
following proposal:

     DOE - ORO will not use dogs to search for drugs and/or
     contraband in agency buildings and parking lots.

     IV. Position of the Parties

     The Agency argues that the decision to use drug-detection
dogs to search Agency premises is an exercise of management's
rights to determine its internal security practices under section
7106(a)(1) of the Statute.

     The Union contends that the use of drug-detection dogs is
not a reasonable exercise of management's rights. According to
the Union, the Agency has provided no  basis for implementing
this program because there is no  indication that a drug problem
exists.

     V. Analysis and Conclusion

     An agency's right to determine its internal security
practices includes the right to determine policies and actions
which are part of its plan to secure or safeguard its personnel
and physical property against internal or external risks, to
prevent improper or unauthorized disclosure of information, or to
prevent the disruption of the Agency's activities or operations.
See, for example, National Federation of Federal Employees, Local
29 and Department of the Army, Kansas City District, U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers, Kansas City, Missouri, 21 FLRA  233, 234
(1986), vacated and remanded as to other matters sub nom. NFFE,
Local 29 v. FLRA,  (D.C. Cir. Order Mar. 6, 1987), Decision on
Remand, 27 FLRA  404 (1987).

     According to the Agency's uncontested statements, drug and
alcohol abuse has the potential to adversely affect productivity
and to disrupt Agency operations which relate to national
security. Statement of Position at 1. Consequently, and in order
to reduce the risk of disruption to its facilities, the Agency
adopted, among other things, the use of drug-detection dogs to
search Agency facilities. In our view, the Agency has shown a
sufficient link between its goal of safeguarding its property and
operations and its chosen practice of using drug-detection dogs.
We find,  therefore, that the Agency's requirement
constitutes an exercise of its right under section 7106(a)(1) to
determine its internal security practices.

     This proposal precludes the Agency from using drug-detection
dogs. The Union merely claims that because no  drug or alcohol
problem currenty exists at the Agency's ORO the use of
drug-detection dogs is unnecessary. We will not review the
Agency's d