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Public service

The concept of public service is a twofold one: it embraces both the bodies providing services and the services of general-interest they provide. Public service obligations may be imposed by the public authorities on the body providing a service (airlines, road or rail carriers, energy producers and so on), either nationally or regionally. Incidentally, the concept of the public service and the concept of the public sector (including the civil service) are often wrongfully confused; they differ in terms of function, status, ownership and ‘clientele’.