THE Legal Department will be less dependent on its controversial briefing out system in future, legislators were told yesterday. The addition of 23 Crown Prosecutors would reduce the need to use private counsel and save $23 million a year, said Director of Prosecutions Peter Nguyen. Attorney-General Jeremy Mathews said about 60 per cent of advocacy work was already carried out by his department's lawyers. But he declined to say whether his department had struck the right balance in its briefing out policy. 'I don't think you could reduce it to a mathematic figure,' he said. Mr Mathews defended the briefing out system, saying it was of inestimable value in providing prosecution training for private counsel, and that if everything was to be done in-house the department would need a massive increase in staff. His comments came at a Public Accounts Committee hearing into the Director of Audit's recent report which criticised the increasing reliance on briefing out. even though it was more expensive than using in-house counsel.