Problem: Paul O'Toole

Over 32,000 assessments of Fás trainees have had to be "examined" by the state jobs agency after "problems" were raised last year about courses run by trainers hired by the agency.

In a memo to staff last week, Fás director general Paul O'Toole revealed the extent of the problem with the assessments of learners associated with 304 courses contracted out by Fás to training providers.

O'Toole said that because of the review of courses, certificates were withheld until such time as all courses received the "all clear".

"This has slowed the process for learners on these courses, but we are seeking to move the matter along as quickly as possible," O'Toole said.

The report will "explain corrective actions which have been taken where required," said O'Toole. It is unclear the extent of these "corrective actions" and how many, if any, courses will have to be re-assessed or even re-run.

The finished report was expected to be released by now, but last week, Fás chairman, Michael Dempsey, said the board was seeking "a number of clarifications regarding the draft report".

He added it would be released as quickly as possible.

"It is a core value of Fás that each person receives high-quality training which is properly assessed and certified," said Dempsey.

In his memo to staff, O'Toole said that Fás was once again experiencing a lot of media "and other attention and negative comment" which is "clearly unwelcome".

It is understood there is growing tension between Fás management and the government over the increasing number of revelations about the jobs agency.

While Fás management do not underestimate the problems that need to be addressed, there is a belief that the government is using the Fás scandals to deflect criticism away from other more critical issues such as Anglo Irish bank.