It should works like you wrote by set proper permissions for a group of users, but I just chekced in my local repository and it is working like in your case.
If you want check from where are taken form actions values in the dropdown first of all you need to check configuration for this field which is stored under:
As this is a widget with xtype='formactionselection' then please take a look into js file which is implementation for this widget:
There you find that the values in the dropdown for this filed are populated by calling :
and of course setting permissions should solve this problem.
In my opinion this a bug or I missed something, so only thing which I can suggest at this moment is to customize a little bit this widget.
For example you can create a sort of actions which are used only by users in the /apps/project_name/form/actions (copy only those which are used from /libs/foundation/form/components/form/actions/) and then customize the widget by changing a path from
/bin/wcm/foundation/forms/actions.json to /apps/project_name/form/actions.json
I hope this helps you somehow to understand this issue more deeply.
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Another easy solution if you only want the actions located somewhere below /apps.
1. Create an overlay of the form/start component.
2. In dialog.xml change the actiontype node:
fieldLabel="Custom Action Type"