Final Inception Report

The Final Inception Report was released by the FCO on 7 April 2014. It is available from the link at the bottom of this page in both English and French versions. In the French version it has been pointed out that the use of the phrase "capacité d'hébergement de l'environnement" is rather odd. The standard French term would be "capacité de charge environnementale" or "capacité de tolérance".

The FCO also issued the following response to comments that it had received to the draft Report:

The BIOT Administration and KPMG are grateful for your feedback on the draft Inception Report of the Resettlement Feasibility Study.  Several substantive comments were received at the end of the consultation period which meant that a slightly longer period of review was required by KPMG to enable all responses to be carefully considered.  We are pleased to attach the finalised Inception Report, welcomed in a statement today by Mark Simmonds, Minister of State.   

Main Themes

KPMG and the BIOT Administration would like to provide feedback on the main themes raised in your feedback, some of which have not been incorporated: 

1.       Policy Issues (Right of Return; Changes to BIOT Ordinances, Applicability of International Agreements):

a)     In response to feedback from Mr Ted Morris, CRG, UKChSA, The Alliance:  Broader policy implications of resettlement such as the right of return, changes to BIOT Ordinances or the extension of International Agreements to BIOT cannot be determined until after Ministers have assessed the Study’s factual conclusions and taken a policy decision on resettlement.  This includes consideration of the likely timeframes for implementing any resettlement options. Furthermore, as the Terms of Reference make clear, BIOT will give full consideration to any necessity to changing current BIOT legislation that the Study highlights is a barrier to resettlement. 

b)     CRG have suggested the inclusion of Reparation Agreements: as the Terms of Reference make clear, further compensation is not in scope.   

2.       Consultation Process & Information Sharing:

a)     CRG, CSTF, CCT have sought clarity on those being consulted: There are approximate 80 individuals and organisations (Chagossian groups in the UK, Mauritius and Seychelles; environmental NGOs, scientists, individual supporters; writers and journalists; British Parliamentarians) which the BIOT Administration consulted during the summer of 2013, and with whom the study team will continue to engage.  In addition, we have invited input from the Mauritius, Seychelles and US governments. 

b)    KPMG will continue to use the BIOT Feasibility Study e-mail address for sharing key information and seeking your views.  Later in the Study, we expect to be able to publish information on a BIOT Website and will alert you when this goes live.   Although the report sets out two dedicated consultation points, the BIOT Administration welcomes comments and suggestions throughout this process to the Feasibility Study email address, and to the British High Commissions in Port Louis and Victoria. 

c)    KMPG will endeavour to meet the request from The Alliance and UKChSA for Creole translators for their consultations with Chagossian communities. In response to the suggestion that questions about future resettlement scenarios need to be framed in a way which is sensitive to the level of knowledge of Chagossians, KPMG welcomes collaboration with them in developing proposals. 

d)    CRG (UK) asked for clarification of when KPMG expect to consult additional experts not in the core team:  Although it is not possible to predict now, as the data gathering phase of the Study makes progress, it will become clearer which additional experts will need to be consulted by KPMG and this will be captured in regular reporting and shared with you.   

3. Response from Foreign Governments:

a)    The government of Mauritius has formally declined to engage with the Feasibility Study.  

b)     The U.S. government has clarified that, as U.S. facilities are allocated for military use and have been built specifically to handle the capacity presented by the forces needed in potential future combat operations, the United States recommends that Her Majesty’s Government not include the use of U.S. facilities, infrastructure, services, or modes of transportation for the purposes of this study.  

With the exception of use of the airfield, the UK should assume all infrastructure and transportation to support a civilian population will have to exist independent of U.S. assets and that U.S. support to a civilian population will not be available. Additionally, the physical security of the existing military facility is provided in large part by its remote location; any contemplated settlement options should consider the costs of ensuring this security would not be degraded by the presence of a newly introduced civilian population. The United States would also like to point out that, in accordance with the 1976 Exchange of Notes, the Diego Garcia Base Operations Support Contractor is required to recruit employees from Mauritius to work on Diego Garcia. The United States continues to welcome the opportunity to hire Chagossians to work on Diego Garcia for the Base Operations Support Contractor.

 c)  The government of Seychelles has noted latest developments on the Study and has no substantive comments.  

4.  Key Principles for the Study:

a)     In response to CCT’s request that the environmental impact is captured as an overarching principle:  Environmental factors are one of many factors to be assessed in this Study.  For the purposes of the analysis, no single factor shall take precedence over another and in this context, KPMG will make a thorough assessment of the environmental factors affecting resettlement options, as well as the implications of resettlement on the environment.         

5. Impartiality

a)     Various parties have stressed the need for neutrality in KPMG’s analysis: The BIOT Administration are clear that it is KPMG’s responsibility to deliver a high quality, impartial assessment, and that includes the selection of their core team.  KPMG have considered feedback about their team, and reassured us that they have absolute confidence in the integrity of their selection processes and of the capabilities of that team to deliver the independent analysis required.  KPMG will not be making any changes to the composition of its project team.   

6.  Monthly reporting and risk management:

 a)   Some parties have flagged the omission of monthly update reports and a risk register:  Monthly reports including risk management will be shared with parties.