Public Agent Definition and Legal Meaning

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What is a Public Agent?

A public agent is anyone who is in a position within a governmental agency that is tasked with representing the public in various matters.

Purpose and Meaning of a Public Agent

Public agents are those who work on behalf of others in various positions whether in government offices or out in the world. This typically refers to those whose primary job is representing a group of people to perform a specific task.

Since the term, the public agent can be representative of various positions across several different industries, it is important to understand that the basics of the term are simple. A person who serves as a public agent of an entity does so with authority given to them by the entity.

Similar to other agents, the public agent typically has experience and skills that make them qualified to represent the industry they represent. This means that they have met certain criteria that make them subject matter experts who can work with the best interest of the public in mind.

While in many cases, a public agent is elected to represent a certain population, others are hired by an agency or other government entity to do the same. Because of this, any employee of a specific agency who works to represent the population at large is considered to be a public agent.

Keep in mind that the primary purpose of a public agent is to represent the population that they are tasked to serve. This means that, in most cases, these are the people who are put in place to make sure that the public is represented fairly.

Whether the public agent is a government official or an employee of the government agency, they are in their position to ensure that various factors are taken into consideration. Additionally, in most government agencies, there are policies and regulations in place that prevent one person from having too much authority over another person.

Overall, a public agent is either elected to a position or works for those who are and whose primary job is to represent the public interest. This often translates to these agents making various decisions based on their area of expertise that are designed to help the public as a whole.

Examples of a Public Agent

  • A police officer is a public agency whose primary purpose is to protect, serve, and uphold the law for the public in the city they represent.
  • The President of the United States holds the highest level of the public agent in the country and it is their job to represent the citizens of the U.S.
  • A city council person is a public agent who represents the citizens of a city and who helps to make decisions to keep the city safe.
  • The mayor of a city is also a public agent who is elected by the citizens and is charged with making decisions that are in the best interest of those living within the city.
  • The governor of a state is a public agent who is tasked with representing the best interest of the constituents of the state they represent.
  • A judge is a type of public agent who is appointed to represent the best interests of those who come before them in a court of law.
  • The cabinet for the President of the United States is considered to be public agents who are in a position to represent the citizens of the country and advise the president on what is in the best interest of those citizens.
  • Other public officials or employees who work for a governmental agency whose sole job is to act on behalf of the people they represent.

Other Types of Agents Similar to Public Agent

  • Special agents: these types of agents are specifically educated and trained to work for a certain agency. In most cases, instead of working consistently to represent one set of people, they often are tasked with one job at a time. For example, a real estate agent, travel agent, federal agent, or securities agent typically has one client or set of clients at a time.
  • General agents: this type of agent is specific to a certain type of entity that represents the interests of a certain clientele. For example, a talent or sports agent is tasked with representing the interests of the client they are working with.
  • Universal agents: under this type of agent-client relationship, the agent typically acts under a Power of Attorney to represent the client. This could be concerning another person's health, financial transactions, or even legal matters. For example, if a person is deemed incapable of representing themselves, a public agent is given power of attorney to act on their behalf.

Reference Legal Explanations

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  • "Public Agent Definition and Legal Meaning". Legal Explanations. Accessed on May 27, 2024.

  • "Public Agent Definition and Legal Meaning". Legal Explanations, Accessed 27 May, 2024

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