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Investigation Manual

24 Witness Summons

The Ombudsman has the same powers as the High Court in respect of the attendance and examination of witnesses and the production of documents. It may sometimes be necessary to issue a witness summons. In these circumstances, Investigators must liaise with their manager. The Assistant Ombudsman would normally write to the BinJ first to warn it of our powers to issue a witness summons if we continue not to receive the information we have requested.

A witness summons goes out in the Assistant Ombudsman’s name. Reasonable expenses for complying with the summons have to be offered. There is a template letter in ECHO. The witness summons should normally be delivered by a Process Server.

Any special requirements (for example photo ID for access to 2MS) should be added to the template letter.

If the BinJ fails to attend in accordance with the summons, the power to certify an offence to the High Court rests with the Ombudsman and the Chief Executive.