Families of soldiers killed while serving in Afghanistan have reacted angrily to news this week that the Ministry of Defence has paid out £47 million in bonuses this year to its civil servants.
According to reports, some of these performance-related bonuses were as much as half the annual salary of rookie soldiers, whose lives, it has been argued, are being put at risk because of the MoD’s failure to deliver front line equipment.
MoD buyers, who have faced a lot of criticism over defence procurement in recent months, were among the 50,000 staff to receive a bonus, which averaged less than £1,000 each.
And so in today's Sun newspaper a cartoon has appeared depicting an MoD official handing over a cheque for £1,000 to a “Desk Jockey” for “services to office stationery procurement”.
And today the Daily Mail described top BBC buyer, Beverley Tew, who is director of procurement and revenue management, as the "stationery cupboard boss".
The misconception of procurement as nothing more than the function that orders in the paperclips is hardly new. But it’s also far from helpful at a time when real issues surrounding a shortage of funding are being placed under the microscope. What's your reaction to this persistent mislabelling - amusement or annoyance?