LA audit says city flubbed grant applications 

Government auditors said Monday that Los Angeles might have lost out on millions of dollars in federal stimulus funds because local officials failed to meet deadlines or lost track of applications.

The audit by City Controller Wendy Greuel found City Hall sought 88 grants under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act worth $1.3 billion. The city was awarded 24, and those grants brought $261 million to the cash-strapped city.

Greuel found that city departments often lacked the staff to apply for grants on tight federal deadlines, and in other cases they chose not to apply for grants and failed to document why. In other cases, the audit found funds could be slowed by a dense city bureaucracy.

Los Angeles "missed out on some important opportunities," Greuel said in a statement.

"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," she added. "We need a central group that makes sure that Los Angeles is always persistent when it comes to competitive grant opportunities."

Greuel said the city needs to strengthen oversight and streamline the way it handles grants.

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