TRAC users may not be aware that TRAC contains detailed information
on staffing at federal agencies. Washington Post columnist James
Grimaldi used our staffing data to find that the Department of
Agriculture employs 450 legal professionals. His "Hearsay"
column used this fact to highlight the apparent inconsistencies
with the USDA's recent awards of $30 million for outside legal
assistance in processing certain loan applications. Grimaldi's
column prompted an explanation from the USDA, who defended the
awards saying they were the "maximum amounts that could
be spent in a given year" and that the loan applicants,
not taxpayers, would foot the bill for the legal help.