Former Bovis Lend Lease boss John Anderson met Scottish Office chief architect just weeks before Bovis was awarded the construction management role on the Scottish parliament, it emerged at the Fraser inquiry this week.
Anderson, then managing director, and chief architect John Gibbons were at the opening of the Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on 30 November 1998.

The disclosure that a meeting took place came in a letter dated 17 December 1998 from Anderson to Bill Armstrong, the then Holyrood project manager, which was submitted to the inquiry.

The letter was sent two days after Bovis was told it was back in contention for the contract after it was dropped in November on cost grounds. Project sponsor Barbara Doig told senior staff at the Scottish Office on 15 December that she had decided to reinstate Bovis because she had recently been apprised of its "commitment" to the Scottish Office.

In his letter Anderson, who is now director of construction at developer Chelsfield, wrote: "I was fortunate and pleased to meet John Gibbons at the Museum of Scotland and naturally I conveyed the keen interest and enthusiasm of Bovis to be associated with the Scottish parliament building."

Under questioning at the inquiry on Tuesday, Gibbons said that he did not show any preference to any commercial organisation and had no intention of influencing Doig.

Gibbons also dislcosed that the late Enric Miralles, the architect, insisted that his design fee was increased a few weeks after winning the design contract.