1218.0 - Standard Economic Sector Classifications of Australia (SESCA), 2008 (Version 1.1)  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 06/09/2013   
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Contents >> Classifications >> Public/Private Classification



The Public/Private classification provides a standard for the compilation of statistics that involve dividing the resident economy into broad economic sectors depending on whether or not they are controlled by government.

The Public/Private classification divides the economy into two sectors:

    1. Public (government units and units controlled by government); and
    2. Private (all other units).

For the purposes of the Public/Private classification, government control of corporations is assessed against the criteria outlined in 'Key Concepts'. This does not include government regulation of an industry or group of entities. Similarly entities created by legislation are not necessarily controlled by government. Government authority to determine the general policy of a corporation usually comes from legislation that is specific to the individual corporation over which control is exercised.

Instances can arise in which the public and private sectors share ownership of a corporation. In such cases, the corporation is allocated to the sector that has effective control over the activities and policy of the corporation.


The public sector comprises:
  • All government units as defined in 'Unit of Classification'
  • All institutional units and notional institutional units controlled by government as per the definition of control outlined in 'Key Concepts'
  • Financial corporations controlled by government
  • Government agencies
  • Government departments
  • Non-financial corporations controlled by government
  • Notional institutional units controlled by government
  • Public financial corporations
  • Public non-financial corporations
  • Superannuation funds for public sector employees are included in the Private Sector


The private sector comprises all resident units operated by private enterprise, except those controlled by government.

  • Household institutional units
  • Private corporations
  • Private notional institutional units
  • Superannuation funds for public sector employees
  • Unincorporated enterprises
  • Notional institutional units controlled by government are included in the Public Sector

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