Federal Manager's Daily Report

BAYBAY CITY, THE PHILIPPINES - December 2, 2015: A student follows along as his teacher, a volunteer with the United States Peace Corps, teaches in Baybay City, the Philippines on December 2, 2015.

Illegal drug use by volunteers “continues to pose a serious risk to the integrity and reputation of the Peace Corps as well as the health and safety of volunteers,” an IG report has said, calling the agency’s efforts to address the issue “insufficient.”

Since a report two years ago, “drug use has remained a serious problem marked by further investigations, arrests, and lost years of volunteer service,” with more than 150 volunteers being separated across 26 countries. “As a result of these separations, students, counterpart agencies, host family members, and other community members lost 117 potential years of service and support from the Peace Corps.”

“Beyond the impact to host country partners of removing a volunteer, these lost years of service represent a substantial waste of agency resources. The Peace Corps domestic operations make significant investments of staff and resources in recruiting, screening, and placing volunteers,” it added. “These large-scale removals have created serious disruptions to operations of affected posts and have the potential to harm the Peace Corps’ partnerships with host country governments.”

Among the recommendations were to provide better support to country directors, including on ordering drug tests where use is suspected; gather and analyze data on factors contributing to illegal drug use; and increase training for volunteers on “the risks that drug use poses to their health and safety, the effectiveness of their service, and the operations of the post itself.”