An external review of an accounting blunder, which resulted in Ireland overstating the size of the country's debt by €3.6bn, recommends taking a key responsibility away from the Department of Finance.

The report says that overall responsibility for the work should be assumed by the Central Statistics Office.

An external and internal review into the error were announced last year.

The €3.6bn accounting error related to the Housing Finance Agency which lends to local authorities. During 2010 the Agency borrowed €3.6bn from NTMA which was already included in the national debt figure.

It should not have been added to the general government debt.

An internal Department review, seen by RTÉ News, found that the two divisions within the Department with key roles in relation to expenditure and loan policies of the housing finance agency, were not aware of the impact of how the money had been borrowed, would have on the general government debt.

The report says the statistical discrepancy occurred for the first time in European systems of accounts returns for the first quarter of 2007 prepared by the CSO.

It also notes duplication in relation to the collection and compilation of data by the Department of finance and CSO.

It points to reduced staff and an absence of supervisory checks of key statistical data in relevant sections of the Department of Finance.

It says the current systems carry a significant risk of errors or omissions.

Meanwhile a separate external review by Deloitte, recommends placing overall responsibility for the reporting of general government debt with the CSO.

The CSO estimates it could do this by March 2013. The report recommends that Finance should maintain responsibility for forecasting current year and general government debt.

Both reviews make numerous recommendations regarding communication, co-ordination and review of processes.

In May, the Department of Finance announced a revised statement of strategy with an increased focus on risk management.

A spokesman for the Department of Finance said tonight they would not be commenting in advance of the reports being published on Thursday, when the Secretary General of the department will go before the public accounts committee.