An organisation, which works to prevent and expose corruption in Ireland, has said it is examining a number of cases.

Transparency International Ireland said it has been informed of instances where planning officials in local authorities have demanded payments for planning decisions.

It said the issues were referred to them confidentially on a helpline they operate to report corruption, fraud or abuse of power.

Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, the group’s director, John Devitt, said reports from up to ten local authorities satisfy his organisation that there is a serious problem which needs to be addressed.

The organisation has expressed concern about the removal of powers of local elected representatives as part of proposed local government reform announced this week.

Mr Devitt said the reforms do nothing to tackle the problem of officials engaging in corrupt practices.

He said they have not received one complaint about a councillor despite the fact that initially the problem of planning corruption stemmed from politicians as opposed to officials.