They could be, that's true, but judging by the horror stories reported on this website and others, there are millions of ways that councils are not following the law and doing as they please. For my council it is clear that these groups have no decision making and that a full resolution on the 'findings' is evidenced, discussed and resolved at a committee or full council.
There is a need to be pragmatic. An example... my pc was given notice to leave their rented offices and urgently needed to find new office space. It was essential that we acted quickly to source a new office and undertake the work required to move. So a small group of councillors and myself as the Clerk were involved in investigating office space, detailing IT requirements and dealing with the negotiation of the lease. Once a formal decision was required, it was added to an agenda item for resolution, with all the evidence provided. All fully documented and above board.