Does a civil servant always represent an employee who works for a government (government employee)?

  • Soldiers and military officers who work and fight for, and receive salary from a governement are not called civil servants.
    – user140086
    Oct 8 '15 at 9:56
  • Some people who wok for organisations like the World bank, the IMF etc describe themselves as International Civil Servants. In their case they are not directly employed by any government, but such as the UN.
    – WS2
    Oct 8 '15 at 10:31
  • The U.S. pays 22% of the U.N. budget and they are 22% civil servants of the U.S. Government.
    – user140086
    Oct 8 '15 at 10:42
  • @Rathony Given the long years when the US didn't pay anything, and the fact that there are still outstanding arrears of $1.3billion - that is a small price to pay!
    – WS2
    Oct 8 '15 at 18:37
  • @WS2 They have 19 billion debt. They should be proud of themselves. BTW, Most of it is owed to China!!!
    – user140086
    Oct 8 '15 at 18:43

The Free Dictionary defines a civil servant to be

a member of the civil service

and the civil service to be

  1. Those branches of public service that are not legislative, judicial, or military and in which employment is usually based on competitive examination.
  2. The entire body of persons employed by the civil branches of a government.

so all civil servants are government employees, but not all government employees are civil servants.

The situation in Britain is complicated by the existence of quangos:-

An organization or agency that is financed by a government but that acts independently of it.

whose employees look like and act like civil servants but may or may not be formally part of the civil service.

  • It's very useful.
    – Maudy
    Oct 8 '15 at 10:26
  • I refuse to believe that quangos are unique to Britain. I had this argument with an American. I don't see how any modern western country can avoid there being quangos.
    – WS2
    Oct 8 '15 at 10:29
  • @WS2, quite so. But I don't know what they are called in other countries (although the entry in the dictionary doesn't say it's Chiefly Brit. or anything of that sort). Oct 8 '15 at 10:54

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