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Mason hits out at US dominance

SIR PETER Mason has said the Government is too in thrall to US project management companies.

There is growing industry speculation American firm Bechtel will win the delivery partner contract for the 2012 Olympics.

Often described as the Government's favourite troubleshooter, this was underlined at the weekend when it emerged Bechtel boss Riley Bechtel was awarded a CBE three years ago for 'services to UK Amercian commercial relations'.

The Olympic Delivery Authority, which Sir Peter will join in October, is due to make a decision next month.

Amec has teamed up with Balfour Beatty for the work but Sir Peter struck a pessimistic note when he said: 'We were working in America helping to clear up the World Trade Center and the Pentagon but, when we are playing at home, those in America are seen as better than we are. It irks.'

Sir Peter shrugged off concerns construction had not started on any of the major Olympic venues.

He said: 'The worst thing is to begin when the design is not ready.'