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It inspects schools, trains our armed forces, helps protect our borders, maintains our nuclear weapons, runs our trains and operates our prisons.
Most of the public will never have heard of Serco, a FTSE 100 company that does all of the above and more.
Led by South African Chris Hyman, Serco is also making money doing it and today underlined it is proving one of the recession winners. Profits in the first six months of the year - one of the toughest the UK economy has faced for decades - jumped 33pc to £83.4m.
However, Serco's journey into the DNA of Britain's public infrastructure, like those of rival support services companies Capita and Interserve, began before the recession arrived.
All have benefited from the growing culture of outsourcing services under Labour, and Serco expects this trend to continue as the gaping hole in the public finances forces the Government to cut back.
Serco has secured a record number of contracts in 2009 so far, worth £4bn, as its revenues climbed 30pc to £1.95bn.
The deals includes a contract to design, build and operate Boris Johnson's cycle hire scheme for London and to operate two new prisons at Belmarsh in London and Maghull in Liverpool.
These come on top of Serco's existing services, which include operating London's Docklands Light Railway, running the Northern Rail and Merseyrail train networks, providing the Ministry of Defence with air surveillance and control systems, and delivering infrastructure and intelligence to the UK Border Agency.
To complete the list, Serco also has a six-year contract with Ofsted to run inspections in the Midlands at schools and further education colleges. In defence, the company is battling to win the rights to run the Army's recruitment programme and already helps to train armed forces about using Britain's fleet of aircraft, such as the Chinook and Apache helicopters.
In partnership with Lockheed Martin and Jacobs Engineering, Serco also manages the Atomic Weapons Establishment, which provides and maintains Britain's atomic warheads.
Revenues from civil government work increased 49pc in the period and a bullish Serco expects this trend to continue, giving it even more control of Britain's infrastructure. The company estimates that local authorities have endured a £4bn deficit in income for over the last two years as a result of the recession and that, by 2012 it will have revenues of £5bn.
Serco was founded in 1929 as a United Kingdom division of the Radio Corporation of America and initially provided services to the cinema industry. It changed its name to Serco in 1987 and has been a London Stock Exchange listed company since 1988.
Owen D. Young (October 27, 1874 - July 11, 1962) was an American industrialist, businessman, lawyer and diplomat at the Second Reparations Conference (SRC) in 1929, as a member of the German Reparations International Commission.
He is best known for his SRC diplomacy and for founding the Radio Corporation of America. Young founded RCA as a subsidiary of General Electric in 1919; he became its first chairman and continued in that position until 1929.
In 1919, at the request of the government, he created the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) to combat threatened foreign control of America's struggling radio industry. He became its inaugural chairman and served in that position until 1929, helping to establish America's lead in the burgeoning technology of radio.
In the mid-1920s he helped found the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). In 1928, he was appointed to the board of trustees of the Rockefeller Foundation under a major reorganization of that institution, serving on that board also up to 1939.