public service

the business of supplying an essential commodity, as gas or electricity, or a service, as transportation, to the general public.
government employment; civil service.
a service to the public rendered without charge by a profit-making organization: This radio program has been brought to you as a public service.

1560–70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
public service
1.  a.  government employment
 b.  the management and administration of the affairs of a political unit, esp the civil service
2.  a.  a service provided for the community: buses provide a public service
 b.  (as modifier): a public-service announcement
3.  (Austral), (NZ) British equivalent: civil service the service responsible for the public administration of the government of a country. It excludes the legislative, judicial, and military branches. Members of the public service have no official political allegiance and are not generally affected by changes of governments

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Example sentences
Most of us went on to useful employment in education or public service.
It was a valuable experience in public service, but much work in social
  responsibility can be done from the private sector.
Thirty performances are held yearly in formal concert, public service and
  workshop settings.
Now there are moves afoot to buy it from its private owners so that the boat
  may be returned to public service.
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