A new audit says Missouri schools and local governments could have saved $43 million over four years if they had issued bonds differently.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich said Tuesday that the savings could come through competition.

His audit found that most schools and local entities use negotiated bond sales in which an underwriter selected in advance often also serves as a financial adviser. Schweich says bonds that are competitively bid among underwriters often result in lower interest rates for schools and local governments.

The audit recommends Missouri change its law to require competitive bonds for entities with good credit ratings.

Previous audits have drawn similar conclusions.

But some school officials question the projected savings. They say negotiated sales allow schools to form trusted relationships with underwriters.


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