I have just failed a review audit on an answer by answering "No action needed". While this was fair enough based on the answer alone; the answer was to a question that was marked as closed, and both question and answer were 14 days ago.

In these circumstances, why is "no action needed" not an appropriate review?

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    The audits use previous decisions (closure/deletion) to evaluate your review. If you're saying that you clicked through to the question from the review queue in order to see context, that does seem to be a bit borked. Because of the thoroughness of your review, you saw that the post had already been taken care of and, assuming it was a real item, that it didn't need to be in the queue. – jscs Jan 21 '13 at 1:31

Just because a question is closed does not mean we should stop deleting crap answers from it. A question closure does not necessarily mean the question will be deleted, and we should still clean up any answers that don't belong, no matter what.

The answer you reviewed is just horrible. It doesn't answer the question at all and shouldn't exist. Your response should always be to recommend deletion of that answer, whether the question is closed or not.

Sarcastic, crappy answers to bad questions only encourage other crappy answers and discourage the OP from attempting to improve their question to a point where it could be reopened. In this case, it was closed as a duplicate and will likely never be deleted, but serve as a signpost. Even more reason to get rid of the answer.

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    I think the problem is that the question was downvoted to -3 and the reviewer felt that no action was needed because the community already took care of downvoting it, perhaps eventually into oblivion. The review audit is a little too strict IMHO. I suppose he could have clicked on the question to see that it has already been deleted, but that's really not the point of the audit. The fact that different people may have a different opinion from the majority on how to deal with certain questions and answers does not lend well to our audit system. – Brian Feb 21 '13 at 14:36
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    @0A0D: He was reviewing an answer. As well, while reviewing them they show at 0 votes and all the comments are hidden. He was acting on the answer based on the state of the question, which is why he failed. The state of the question shouldn't matter at all. – animuson Feb 21 '13 at 17:52
  • We take in the state of the question all the time when deleting or flagging. Not sure why this would be different. – Brian Feb 21 '13 at 19:02
  • @0A0D: So you would leave a terrible answer just sitting there on a duplicate question that will likely never be deleted? That's very sad. – animuson Feb 21 '13 at 19:05
  • What I am saying is that the audit is too strict. Reviewing, flagging, or deleting is arbitrary and subjective. The audit lacks the human element. Just because the answer or question took a certain action, does not necessarily make that final action correct. In regards to this answer, sure you could flag it for deletion, add a comment, or let others downvote it or downvote it yourself. Any option is correct depending on the situation. – Brian Feb 21 '13 at 19:18
  • @0A0D: You're looking for this. Although, even I would mark this particular example as a good audit. There's no reason not to flag that answer for deletion. – animuson Feb 21 '13 at 19:20

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