The OECD has said it has serious concerns that Ireland has not prosecuted a foreign bribery case in the 12 years since its foreign bribery offence came into force.

A Working Group on Bribery report outlines that Ireland, which is currently investigating one case and assessing three, has taken "few proactive investigative steps".

It says Irish resources are inadequate to detect and investigate foreign bribery cases due to the amount devoted to investigating non-bribery cases related to the financial sector.

The group recommends that Ireland urgently reorganise law enforcement resources so that credible allegations of foreign bribery can be investigated and prosecuted in a timely manner.

The group also recommends that Ireland considers how to apply cost effective and simple detection and investigative steps at the earliest opportunity.

The report focuses on developments since Ireland's last evaluation in March 2007.

It had highlighted inconsistencies in Ireland's two foreign bribery offences, the Prevention of Corruption Act (POCA) and Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud) Offences Act (CJOA). 

The Working Group says these have still not been consolidated and harmonised to comply with the Anti-Bribery Convention.

It suggests that the Draft Scheme of the Criminal Justice Corruption Bill 2012 could be a suitable vehicle, and notes that the Government has indicated its interest in receiving recommendations that could contribute to this legislative process.