The question is:

What are the risks in referring a complaint to the SPSO ???

There are several risks. Noted that the SPSO procedures fail to meet some of the basic Human Rights:

  1. Unlike a court of law where all information, data, and documents are seen by both sides, who both have the obligation to provide to the pther party any such data, information, and documents which might assist that party in the case, the SPSO does NOT enable this basic human right.
  2. There is no sensible or usable appeals procedure. The only way to reverse a judgement is by Judicial Review at enormous cost - usually over £200,000. However such a review can only alter the judgement if it errs on a point of law. 
  3. The facts are determined by the SPSO. Their staff are de facto "pro" the Body being complained of.
  4. The staff are just "plods off the street". Occasionally an "expert" will be called in. You are not allowed to request your own expert witness. to review these cases.
  5. The sad statistic is that far too many cases are wrongly decided. The author took a council to a tribunal and won. Then the same case was taken to the SPSO who provided a totally different answer. This was just to demonstrate that the SPSO was incompetent. The author is a Chartered Engineer [who also belonged to the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators]. The SPSO findings on Water Charges are reviewed on this web site. However, the SPSO still REFUSES to review these errors and mistakes.

Result: The answer is almost undoubtedly NO.