The Office of the U.S. Trustee is a division of the Department of Justice. The U.S. Trustee for any given “region” is the head of the Office of the U.S. Trustee (the UST) for that region. The U.S. Trustee is authorized to appoint and supervise chapter 7 panel trustees, appoint the membership of official committees in chapter 11 cases, and investigate bankruptcy fraud and abuse. The U.S. Trustee (through its locally posted and federal government-employed attorneys) can be heard on any issue in a bankruptcy case, and is often active on issues and in circumstances in which the interests of creditors are not clearly represented, such as early in a large case or with respect to applications to employ and compensate professionals at any stage in a case.