FÁS plans to spend hundreds of thousands of euro on a new public relations campaign.

The state training agency, which was last year mired in controversy over an expenses scandal, has begun the search for a "communications service provider".

In a tender document published on the government's procurement website, Fás said the PR firm will be required to provide "strategic communications advice and support as required to the board and management of Fás" and "expert support" to its existing communications unit.

The agency said it could not give an indication of the value of the contract as this would breach procurement guidelines.

However, sources said a contract of that scope would be worth several hundred thousand euro a year.

The winning tender is expected to be chosen sometime next month. The contract will initially be for one year, though Fás said it could be extended.