The Democratic Party yesterday proposed setting up a watered-down Legco select committee to investigate the Sars outbreak. It would have no power to bring to account any officials found to have mishandled the outbreak. On Thursday, Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa announced that Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food Yeoh Eng-kiong should form a committee of local, mainland and international experts to review the outbreak. The pro-democracy camp said this would lack credibility and has pressed for a select committee. But pro-government parties fear that a witch hunt would follow. Democratic Party chairman Yeung Sum said yesterday the select committee would concentrate on fact-finding rather than censuring officials. 'This is not a compromise, this is only another way of doing things,' he said. Executive Councillor James Tien Pei-chun, chairman of the Liberal Party, said legislators lacked the expertise to head the inquiry, but neither should it be led by the health minister as this could raise suspicions of a whitewash. Meanwhile, the Hospital Authority said it would form an independent committee to study how to improve its ability to deal with virus outbreaks. Including members from outside the authority, it would produce a report in three months.