Public Sector, according to Encyclopedia Britannica is the portion of the economy composed of all levels of government and government controlled enterprises and excludes private companies, voluntary organizations and households.
Public sector therefore includes public goods and government services such as public education, health care, police, military, physical infrastructure and those who are work for the government. Rather than its mere functions as a service provider, Public sector represents government ownership and control on matters such as exercising public authority and the implementation of public policy. Public enterprises on the other hand are self-financing commercial enterprises which are owned by the government and operate on a commercial basis and provide private goods and services for sale.
To fulfill the social and economic responsibilities entrusted upon the public sector, governments throughout the world employ people directly in the sector.
The first scientific Census on public and Semi government sector employment was carried out in 1980 in order to cater to the requirements of data on the Public and Semi government sector for planning and monitoring purposes of government employees and the institutions in which they work.
Department of Census and Statistics being the National Statistical Office responsible for providing official statistics required for policy formulation and government planning purposes has been followed the basic principles of census taking for conducting its maiden scientific census in 1980. While the public sector compromised of employees in Ministries, Departments and all other agencies coming directly under the Government Administration, the Corporation sector covered all employees in state owned Cooperations and other statutory bodies. Subsequent to that, censuses were carried out in 1985, 1990, 1994, 1998, 2002 and 2006 at a quite similar frequency of 4 to 5 years.
Before 1980, Ministry of Public Administration had been instrumental in conducting censuses in 1968, 1972 and 1976 with the technical assistance of the Department of Census and Statistics; they covered only the public sector and was just a head count based on their payroll. However, results of the 1976 census have not been published due to under coverage observed in the enumeration. Previous records revealed that the number employed in the Public sector prior to 1968 was also collected from respective Ministries by the Department of Census and Statistics.