Public sector

The public sector (also called the state sector) is the part of the economy composed of both public services and public enterprises.

Public services include public goods and governmental services such as the military, police, infrastructure (public roads, bridges, tunnels, water supply, sewers, electrical grids, telecommunications, etc.), public transit, public education, along with health care and those working for the government itself, such as elected officials. The public sector might provide services that a non-payer cannot be excluded from (such as street lighting), services which benefit all of society rather than just the individual who uses the service.[1] Public enterprises, or state-owned enterprises, are self-financing commercial enterprises that are under public ownership which provide various private goods and services for sale and usually operate on a commercial basis.

Organizations that are not part of the public sector are either a part of the private sector or voluntary sector. The private sector is composed of the sectors, which is intended to earn a profit for the owners of the enterprise. The voluntary, civic or social sector concerns a diverse array of non-profit organizations emphasizing civil society.

Organization

The organization of the public sector can take several forms, including:

  • Direct administration funded through taxation; the delivering organization generally has no specific requirement to meet commercial success criteria, and production decisions are determined by government.
  • State-owned enterprises; which differ from direct administration in that they have greater management autonomy and operate according to commercial criteria, and production decisions are not generally taken by a government (although goals may be set for them by government).
  • Levels of Public sector are organized at three levels: Federal or National, Regional (State or Provincial), and Local (Municipal or County).
  • Partial outsourcing (of the scale many businesses do, e.g. for IT services) is considered a public sector model.

A borderline form is as follows:

  • Complete outsourcing or contracting out, with a privately owned corporation delivering the entire service on behalf of government. This may be considered a mixture of private sector operations with public ownership of assets, although in some forms the private sector's control and/or risk is so great that the service may no longer be considered part of the public sector (Barlow et al., 2010). (See the United Kingdom's Private Finance Initiative.)
  • Public employee unions represent workers. [2]Since contract negotiations for these workers are dependent on the size of government budgets, this is the one segment of the labor movement that can actually contribute directly to the people with ultimate responsibility for its livelihood. While their giving pattern matches that of other unions, public sector unions also concentrate contributions on members of Congress from both parties who sit on committees that deal with federal budgets and agencies.
Other Languages
العربية: قطاع عام
asturianu: Sector públicu
беларуская: Публічны сектар
български: Публичен сектор
español: Sector público
فارسی: بخش دولتی
français: Secteur public
Bahasa Indonesia: Sektor publik
Livvinkarjala: Julgine ala
Nederlands: Publieke sector
日本語: 官業
português: Setor público
Simple English: Public sector
slovenščina: Javni sektor
српски / srpski: Јавни сектор
Türkçe: Kamu kurumu
українська: Державний сектор