The Broadcasting Board of Governors, the independent government broadcaster that is a key cog in the United States foreign PR apparatus and a target of Republican criticism, has called for proposals to integrate social media tools into the institution and its newsrooms.

An RFP issued by the agency seeks a social media contractor to work with its office of new media to “integrate new social media processes, skills, and tools.” That includes training journalists as well as technical implementation.

The BBG, which runs Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and the Middle East Broadcasting Networks, among others, wants at least three years of experience implementing SM tools in a broadcast news environment with fluency in Arabic or Russian seen as a plus.

An eight-month contract with an option is planned.

Proposals are due Jan. 10. View the RFP (link).

The BBG has been a steady target for Congressional Republicans over the past two years as Obama administration nominees were stymied earlier this year in a bid to highlight criticisms of the $750M-a-year agency.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) blasted to board in April as “the most worthless organization in the federal government” earlier this year. “It’s full of people who know nothing about media or foreign policy,” he told Foreign Policy. “All they are doing is pending money and somebody’s going to look into it.”

The BBG’s board includes a handful of PR veterans. Dana Perino, chief issues counselor at Burson-Marsteller and former press secretary to President George W. Bush, was nominated by Obama and confirmed as one of eight governors in June. Michael Meehan, a BGR and Democratic PR veteran who is CEO of Venn2 Communications, was also confirmed in June. Susan McCue, president of Message Global and a Democratic PR and political strategist, was stalled as a Bush-era nominee but pushed through in June after re-nomination by Obama.