An audit by Los Angeles Controller Wendy Greuel released Tuesday found that the city failed to pursue all eligible funding opportunities under the American Recovery Reinvestment Act.

The city also had limited success in receiving the grants it applied for. Specifically, of the $1.3 billion in ARRA grants that Los Angeles sought through 88 competitive applications, it was only awarded $261 million in 24 grants, according to the audit.

Greuel found that the lack of an effective centralized oversight unit to coordinate grant applications among the city’s departments led to missed opportunities and ultimately reduced Los Angeles’ share of competitive grant funding.

“Our city’s departments work hard to secure all the funding they can for Angelenos, but the city’s decentralized approach meant we missed out on some important opportunities,” according to Greuel.

“We all know that when we’re going to apply for a job that you do not just stop calling after the interview, you keep following up until you land the job,” he added. “We need a central group that makes sure that Los Angeles is always persistent when it comes to competitive grant opportunities.”

Greuel is one of several Los Angeles mayoral candidates vying for a seat that will be left vacant by a termed-out Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2013.

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