Published Tuesday, 03 September 2013
A report from the watchdog said there should be more precise targets on policing objectives and ways to measure police performance.
It explained that last year's policing targets lacked clarity.
It said: "In the absence of target levels I am concerned that the effectiveness of such scrutiny, and thereby accountability, will be diminished."
The PSNI stopped setting numerical targets because identifying realistic but challenging goals was difficult to achieve, with the Chief Constable and senior commanders instead aiming for the best reduction in crime or increased levels of public confidence in policing.
Tuesday's Audit Office Review of Continuous Improvement Arrangements in Policing looked at whether the performance plan for 2012/13 met obligations imposed on the Policing Board and whether proposed performance indicators and standards were reasonable.
"Specific targets help to orientate stakeholders (including PSNI) to the level of performance expected," continued the report.
"They also help to create a clear sense of focus, priority and timeframe. Targets act as flags for scrutineers - where a target is substantially exceeded, or where performance is well below expectations, this should lead to closer examination and explanation."
The board welcomed the Audit Office's report and said it accepts its recommendations.
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