• My Tools
Business Services, Thought Leaders

What Is a Public Organization: 10 Examples

November 30, 2021

by Sydney Wess

Every public organization has a designated function, intended to serve the general population. Handled and funded by the government, public organizations provide services deemed as essential for the governed. 

Updated July 1, 2022

The world of business can be divided into two main categories: public and private.  From a business perspective, it's essential that you understand the differences in financing between the public and private sectors.

This guide will look at what the public sector is with some illustrative public organization examples. 

Looking for financial guidance? Connect with a top-rated financial services firm

What Is the Public Sector?

The public sector, also known as the state sector, is the part of the business world that is focused on goods and services that are intended to benefit the general public and society at large.

Public organizations and companies are owned and operated by the government, as well as being funded through the government in the form of taxes.

4 Features of a Public Organization

4 Features of a public organization

Here are four of the key aspects and defining features that separate public organizations from private businesses.


1. Objective

Public sector employers and agencies do not aim to make a profit from the goods and services they provide. These services are provided for the good of the public. 

2. Funding

Public service is usually generated in the form of taxes and fees, rather than through private investment. In some cases, funding can be generated in other ways, but the government is always either the sole owner or majority shareholder of a public organization.

3. Competition

In the private sector, competition for profit between companies can drive changes and adaptations. The public sector does not have this same competition.

4. Focus

Organizations in the public sector are focused primarily on infrastructure and essential services for society, like education, electricity, defense, agriculture, transport, and so on, while private sector companies can be found in many fields like tech, finance, and retail.

Public Organization Examples

Examples of Public Organizations

One of the best ways to understand the answer to questions like “What is a public agency or organization?” is with the help of examples. So, here are some examples of public organizations.

  1. Education 
  2. Law enforcement
  3. Justice 
  4. Military 
  5. Electricity 
  6. Healthcare
  7. Public transit
  8. Public roads
  9. Housing 
  10. Water

1. Education

One of the most commonly-cited examples of the public sector is education. Schools, colleges, universities, and other educational institutions are examples of public organizations, with the main objective of these organizations being to provide educational services for the general public, improving knowledge, understanding, literacy, and key skills in communities across the nation.

2. Law Enforcement 

Law enforcement is another example of a public organization, with police services in cities and areas across the United States being funded publicly and created to serve the public at large, with the main aims of enforcing the law and helping the population live safely and securely.

3. Justice

Connected with the world of law enforcement, public organizations in the field of justice are responsible for ensuring that justice is served when laws are broken and that those who have broken the rules of society receive adequate punishments for their crimes in accordance with the law.

4. Military

The military and its various branches can also be classed under the category of a public organization. The military in the US, and in many other countries around the world, is funded through taxation of the general public, with the primary purpose of defending the country's people and interests around the world.

5. Electricity 

Electricity providers are another example of public organizations. Electricity is considered to be an essential service in today's world, and electricity providers work to provide homes and communities across the country with the electrical energy they need to power up different devices and appliances around homes and businesses.

6. Healthcare

Healthcare is another example of a public organization. Public hospitals, clinics, and healthcare locations help to provide essential health treatments, medications, surgeries, and other services for people with health problems. Aside from public offerings, there are also many private clinics and healthcare institutions too. 

7. Public Transit

In many cities across the US, public transit organizations can be found, offering transportation services for inhabitants and visitors in the area. Examples may include a subway system, a bus network, or a metro line, allowing the public to get around more quickly and conveniently from place to place.

8. Public Roads

The creation and maintenance of public roads across the US is also handled by public organizations. The employees of these organizations are responsible for monitoring, making, and maintaining roads that allow the population to drive from place to place in their own personal vehicles.

9. Housing 

Public organizations can also be involved with constructing public housing developments, as well as implementing building standards and developing strategies to provide reliable, affordable homes for the public.

10. Water

While much of the world does not have access to clean water, providing this access is seen as an essential duty of the government in developed nations like the US.

Water companies, therefore, tend to be public organizations, providing the public with municipal water supplies to their homes and also handling water treatment to ensure that water is safe to drink and use.

Each Public Organization Has Importance 

As these examples show, public organizations provide some of the most vital services in society today, helping to ensure that children are educated, the sick are healed, key utilities are provided, and infrastructure is maintained.

Related Articles More

​​Is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Your Ticket to Better Customer Experience?
Benefits of Outsourcing for Small Businesses