Government Factory was a sub department of Public Works Department, Originally established at Pettah, on Gas Workers Street, in 1849. It was shifted to the present location at Kolonnawa in 1928, as a part or sub department of the Public Works Department to Provide the Mechanical Engineering support for the Operation of many Public institutions at that time. With the breaking up of the Public Works Department into Highways and Buildings Departments from 01/10/1969, followed by the creation of the Territorial Civil Engineering Organization in 1971, the Government Factory became a Class “A” Department with effect from 01/10/1971.

Original role of the Government Factory was to provide Mechanical Engineering Works, Products, Equipments and allied Operations, Maintenance and repair of Plant and Machinery required for development of infrastructure, for Construction of Roads, Bridges, and Ferry Boats, Irrigation Water Management, and Building Maintenance.

Once the Government Factory became a Class “A” Department, Functions of the Factory has been operated under Advance Accounts of the General Treasury. Government Factory has been attached to the following Ministries during the last four decades, Lands and Land Development, Housing & Construction, Housing & Public Utilities, and Currently Ministry of Housing of and Construction.