Senior officials of the income tax (I-T) department of Karnataka were in a spot at a press conference they held on the last day of the year. A query from a journalist left them searching for answers. As part of the plan for outsourcing some of the government’s non-core work, many departments now hire vehicles for senior staff instead of buying them. Accordingly, the I-T department uses commercial taxis with yellow number plates to ferry many of its senior officials. But many officials insist on using beacons atop their hired cars, even though such cars are not permitted to do so. Asked about this, officials tried to duck the question, saying officials from “this office” did not transgress the rules. “It is officials from the other office in Bangalore who do so and they visit this office every now and then. No one from this office does it,” they insisted.