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 business sector, 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.
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. 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.