Previewing Other Public Sector Entities

Public Sector is the part of the nation's economy concerned with providing services or products or regulation with the initiative of the government. The administrative, legislative, defence and security services are primarily included. Other than these there are public sector enterprises to provide products or services to satisfy or meet public requirements or government objectives. Variations can be found in different countries or states. The organization is usually but not necessarily provided tax-payer's money. But benefits may be delivered to or enjoyed by all of the public.

The Major Public Sectors-UK

In the UK, private and public organisations play a vital role in the proper functioning of the state. The definition and composition of the organisation may change according to public policy or socio-political objectives. So Government enterprises may be privatised, or some others may be nationalised, according to government perspectives, economic policy or public opinion. The public sector may overlap with the private sector in some areas. Successive governments have done their bit. The major public sector organisations or bodies are - Local Authorities, Civil Services, NHS, Police, Fire Services & Armed Forces.

Apart from these domains we endeavour here to provide details of Other Public Sectors. Subsequent governments over years have privatised or given independent status to many entities, or made them government owned limited liability companies, but are considered public sector. To get to know more about the public sector please refer to:

The Judiciary

The Judges of the Judiciary cannot be considered as civil servants. They are appointed by the Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister. The Lord Chancellor appoints them in office. No government department or ministry looks after the affairs of Judges. This is the reason why the judiciary is viewed as independent of the government.

To know more about the judiciary please refer to :

To know how the judiciary is governed and organised please refer to:

Ministry of Justice

The Ministry of Justice is rightly regarded as one of the biggest of government departments. The work of the Department spans criminal, civil and family justice, democracy, rights and the constitution. This Ministry is responsible for the courts, probation services, attendance centres and prisons. They are involved in safeguarding human rights, strengthening and modernising democracy. To know more please refer to:

Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation (DfT) consists of various sectors like Aviation, Rail, Roads and Shipping. To know about the role and contribution of this department please refer to:

United Kingdom Search and Rescue (UKSAR) also comes under the Department of Transportation. The organisations that provide resources to the groups that make up UKSAR are: Ambulance Service, Association of Lowland Search and Rescue, British Cave Rescue Council, Fire and Rescue Service, Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Ministry of Defence, Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Police Service and Royal National Lifeboat Institution. To learn more read here:

1. Shipping & Ports

Shipping and ports come under this transport sector. The share of maritime industry is significant to the economy of UK. Nearly 95% of the country's international trade goes by sea. The Department of Transportation covers the maritime industry with a range of responsibilities. The ports of UK are vital to trade. The department ensures its efficient operation, safety and sustainability. It may be in trust, private or local authority. Private sector invest in container and ferry services of the ports. To read more on this sector please refer to: OR

The Maritime and Coast Guard Agency

The Maritime and Coast Guard Agency (MCA) implements UK governments maritime safety policy. It also works on the coast and at sea to prevent loss of life. To get to know the agency, refer to:

To know about the careers in The MCA please refer to:

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB)

The MAIB is entrusted the duty to examine and investigate all types of marine accidents that has happened to or on board UK vessels anywhere in the world and to other vessels in the territorial waters of the UK. The powers of MAIB are set out in the Merchant Shipping Act 1995 and The Merchant Shipping (Accident Reporting and Investigation) Regulations 2005. To get a detailed picture of the role of this organisation please visit:


The Ports in the United Kingdom are important gateways for trade, commerce and travel. It's an important part of the national economy. Ports are variously held in private, trust or local authority ownership. To read more please refer to: OR OR

Northern Lighthouse Board

Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses are appointed as the General Lighthouse Authority of Scotland and Isle of Man and adjacent seas. They have always been in the forefront of navigational technology. Please refer:

Trinity House Lighthouse Service

The Corporation of Trinity House looks into safety of shipping and well being of seafarers. Trinity House started when it was granted charter by Henry VIII in 1514. It acts as the General Lighthouse Authority for the Channel Islands, Gibraltar, England and Wales. Please refer:

2. Aviation

DfT has made a long term framework that balances the delivery of social and economic benefits derived from aviation. It works, at the same time, to reduce the negative effect of air transport and airport development on the environment. To know more about the role of DfT and about the airports please refer to:

The Civil Aviation Authority is UK's specialist aviation regulator. It's recognized as a world leader in this field because of its expertise and skills. Its specific responsibilities include: Air Safety, Economic Regulation, Airspace Regulation, Consumer Protection, Environmental Research & Consultancy. Air Travel Organiser's Licence (ATOL) is a financial protection scheme managed by CAA as per UK law awarded to all qualified travel companies selling flight and air holiday packages as a license.

CAA advises the Government on various aviation issues. It represents consumer interests, conducts economic and scientific research, produces statistical data besides providing specialist services. It does not get government funding. The CAA meets its costs entirely from the charges levied on whom it regulates. To know about the CAA please refer to :

The BAA is a leading airport operator regulated on prices by CAA and the Competition Commission. The BAA or British Airports Authority was established by Act in 1966 and privatised in 1986. The BAA is regarded as the largest single airport operator in the world. It includes seven airports in the UK. Its work encompasses almost every area of the airport management. To learn about BAA visit - OR

The National Air Traffic Services (NATS) establishes a partnership between the public and private sectors. It aims to provide UK with the best air traffic services. NATS provides air traffic services to all aircraft flying in airspace of UK and also over the eastern part of North Atlantic. To know more of the role of NATS please refer to:

The United Kingdom Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is part of the DfT. It investigates civil aircraft accidents and serious incidents within UK's air-space. The Chief Inspector of Air Accidents heads it and reports directly to the Secretary of State for Transport. To learn more about this organisation please visit:

The European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation is an intergovernmental organisation, made up of 39 member states and the European Community, also called Eurocontrol. Its objective is the development of a seamless pan-European air traffic management (ATM) system. For more details please refer to:

To know about International and European aviation organisations and for useful links with regard to aviation please refer to:

3. Road

The road network is essential to economic prosperity of the country and everyday lives of citizens who use them. It is a part of the transportation sector. DfT looks into various aspects of this sector like Road Safety, Education (of drivers), Engineering and Enforcement. To know more about this sector please refer to:

The Highways Agency has the role of managing, maintaining, improving motorways and operating the road network. They are into managing traffic, tackling congestion, improving safety, informing road users, and minimising adverse impact on the environment. Traffic officers ensure safety, give live traffic updates and keep traffic moving. The Highways Agency is an executive agency of the DfT functioning on behalf of the Secretary of Transport. To know more please refer to:

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency is an Executive Agency of the DfT. The Agency works in the areas of - driving licences, vehicle information and registration, and taxes. To know more about the roles and duties of the DVLA please refer to:

The Driving Standards Agency takes up the task of training drivers and riders with the driving instructors under it. For more details please visit:

Traffic Commissioners are appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport. There are 7 Traffic Commissioners as per region. Their responsibilities include- Registration of bus services; licensing of Heavy Goods Vehicles & Public Service Vehicles; Vocational License for drivers and much more. They are assisted by Deputy Traffic Commissioners. To know more about Traffic Commissioners and their roles please refer to:

The Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) handles a range of duties. They provide licensing, testing and enforcement services. The aim is to improve road worthiness standards of vehicles, compliance of drivers and operators. To learn more please refer to:

The Government Car and Despatch Agency are involved in logistics of Government Cars and Government Mail as the government's own services. They move people and documents safely and reliably across UK. Government Car and Despatch Agency exist to help government departments and the wider public sector. Please refer to:

The Vehicle Certification Agency (VCA) is one of the executive agencies of the Department for Transport. It is also UK's national approval authority for agricultural tractors, new road vehicles and off-road vehicles. To know about this organisation please refer to:

4. Rail

It is the government that charts the strategic direction of rail services. It specifies projects and procures services. The Department for Transport has the Rail Group to work with the industry to realise the objectives. The trade name for the British Railways was British Rail which operated most of the rail network from 1948 to 1997. Thereafter privatised, it was operated by Railtrack. Railtrack was a group of companies that took control of the railway infrastructure on 1st April 1994, and was floated on the Stock Exchange in 1996. Later Railtrack plc was sold to the not for dividend company, the Network Rail on 3rd October, 2002, which was renamed as Network Rail Infrastructure Ltd. Network Rail is a government created entity which owns and operates most of the railway infrastructure in Great Britain. The other is the state operator is Northern Ireland Railways.

To know more about Network Rail please refer to:

To learn about the railway operator Northern Ireland Railways please refer to:

After divesting of its operating functions the British Railways Board is now represented by its residual body the BRB (Residuary) Ltd. Please refer to:

The role of the DfT towards the railway system can be learnt at:

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is an independent investigation organisation which investigates railway accidents and incidents on the railway network. Refer for more details to:

The British Transport Police Authority (BTPA) is a specialist national police service formed for Britain's railways, rail operators, staff and passengers and is an independent governmental body. The BPPA ensures its Transport Police is an efficient and effective force performing on duties assigned. To know more about this body please refer to:

The Office of Rail Regulation is an independent safety and economic regulator guided by the Board appointed by the Secretary of State for Transport for Britain's railways. Please refer to:

Other Governmental Authorities of the DfT are:

Commission for Integrated Transport (
Cycling England (
Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Committee (
Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership (
Passenger Focus (
Railway Heritage Committee (
Renewable Fuels Agency (

Royal Mail

The Royal Mail was earlier a government department and changed in 1969. It is now a public corporation known as the Royal Mail Group Limited. It owns and operates the brands Parcelforce Worldwide (UK parcels), Royal Mail (UK letters) and General Logistics Systems. The Post Office Ltd. provides the counter services and is a subsidiary belonging to The Royal Mail. To learn more about the present Royal Mail please refer to: OR

The British Forces Post Office provides postal service to British armed forces separate from Royal Mail. The BFPO deliver mail in UK and around the world. Please refer to:

British Gas & Electricity

British Gas is British owned, a company which is part of the Centrica Group. It provides gas, electricity and even home repair services, to millions of customers. The Gas Act 1948 nationalised the gas industry. The Gas Act 1972 restructured it into the British Gas Corporation. The Gas Act 1986 led to its privatisation. To know more about British Gas refer to:

The British Electricity Authority(BEA) was constituted in 1948 by nationalisation of the electric supply industry. The BEA became Central Electrical Authority in 1955. It then transferred its assets to the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) in 1958. It was then privatised in the 1990s. The assets of CEGB were taken up by three companies: the National Grid Company, the National Power and Powergen. The nuclear component held by National Power was later vested into the state owned company Nuclear Electric.

The Office of Gas and Electricity Markets(Ofgem) is the appointed government regulator for both electricity and distributed natural gas markets in Great Britain. It supports the Gas and Electricity Markets Authority (GEMA). It was formed out of the merger of the Office of Electricity Regulation (OFFER) and Office of Gas Supply (Ofgas).

The British Council

The British Council is really UK's international cultural relations body that connects with the world. It is an executive non-departmental public body, a public body, a public corporation and a charity. The Patron is HM Queen Elizabeth II and the Vice-Patron is HRH The Prince of Wales. To know more about this body please refer to:

The National Archives

The National Archives is the United Kingdom government's official archive. It contains over 1,000 years of history. This institution gives detailed guidance to government departments and the public sector on information management. It advises others about the care of historical archives. Please refer to:

The Bank of England

The two purposes of the Bank of England are to keep low inflation and confidence in the currency. This is the central bank of the United kingdom, which was founded in 1694. It was nationalised in 1946 and gained independence in 1997. The bank controls the financial system to maintain a healthy economy by promoting and maintaining monetary and financial stability. To know more please visit:

HM Revenue & Customs(HMRC)

HM Revenue & Customs(HMRC) came into being by the combining of the HM Customs and Excise Departments and Inland Revenue, on 18th of April, 2005. HMRC is a non-ministerial department of the UK government, responsible for collecting and administering direct and indirect taxes and some tax credits and other benefits. Please refer for further details to:

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) is a Government Department in the UK. This government department is responsible for government policy and advice on environmental, agricultural and rural issues. They make policy and legislation and work with others to deliver in areas such as- sustainable development and the green economy, the natural environment,environmental protection and pollution control, bio-diversity, plants and animals, animal health and welfare, food, farming and fisheries, rural communities and issues. To know more visit:

Department for Culture, Media and Sport

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is responsible for the coming 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, and also the Digital Economy. It aims to better the quality of life in UK, through cultural and sporting activities. It is for supporting the pursuit of excellence and promoting the tourism, creative and leisure sectors. Refer to the website for details at:

The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom, and one of the world's largest libraries in terms of total number of items. The library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. For details please refer to:

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS)

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is the new government department. It is formed by combining the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) and the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS). As the 'department for growth' it perseveres on building a dynamic and competitive economy. It aims at creating the conditions for promoting innovation, enterprise and science, and opportunities to succeed. Please visit the website for more details:

The Electoral Commission

The Electoral Commission is an independent body set up by the UK Parliament. Its aim is to maintain integrity and public confidence in the democratic process. For details please refer to:

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Known as 'the FCO' or 'the Foreign Office', this is the government department responsible for promoting British interests overseas. It supports British citizens and businesses across the world. To know more about it please visit:

Ofwat (The Water Services Regulation Authority)

Ofwat is the regulator of the sewerage and water industry in Wales and England, that ensures that companies provide to household and business good quality service and value for money. This body works closely with a wide range of other stakeholders which include the water quality regulators (the Environment Agency and the Drinking Water Inspectorate) and the Consumer Council for Water.

Please refer for more information to:

The Met Office

The Met Office became a Trading Fund within the Ministry of Defence in 1996. This office has a long history in weather forecasting and is working for more than two decades in the area of climate change. For more information please refer to:


The British Broadcasting Corporation, now known as the BBC, is established by Royal Charter. It is the largest broadcasting organisation in the world, an autonomous public service broadcaster, employing around 23,000 staff. Its service includes 8 national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website. Income is by a license fee collected from UK households and grant from the UK government. It also has a commercial arm called BBC Worldwide Ltd. Profit from this arm is put back into the BBC to invest in new services and programming. To know more visit :

The following websites will be of interest as it concerns the public sector and government sector bodies:-

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