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Department of Finance should lose key role after €3.6bn error - reports

OFFICIAL reports on the controversial €3.6bn discrepancy in the Government’ s debt figures which emerged last year have recommended that responsibility for statistics should sit with the Central Statistics Office and not the Department of Finance.

The error arose in stats prepared in late 2007 which led to the Housing Finance Agency double counting funds and Government debt being overstated.

As a result of the error, an internal government report and one from consultants Deloitte and Touche have both recommended that the compilation of statistics should rest with the CSO, according to the Irish Times.

The secretary general at the Department of Finance when the error occurred was Kevin Cardiff.

He was rejected for a role in the European Court of Auditors by a budgetary committee of the European Parliament last year but the European Parliament later overturned the decision.

Mr Cardiff was replaced by John Moran as secretary general at the Department.