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Public sector

Those parts of the economy which are not controlled by individuals, voluntary organizations, or privately owned companies. The public sector thus includes government at all levels, national and local; government-owned firms; and quasi-autonomous non-govemmental organizations. When government money is provided to bodies such as charities or housing associations, or privately owned public utilities are subject to close regulation by government-appointed bodies, the distinction between the public and private sectors is not clear-cut.

Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.