The DoE would then have to allow four to six weeks for consultation on the draft orders, which will mean implementation in October.
'We are glad the government is taking time to consider the issues properly,' said Andrew Purssell, principal administrator at the Association of District Councils.
He said the delay would definitely mean there was a need to allow more time for implementation of any changes.
A civil servant speaking last week at an ADC conference suggested that different tiers of local government might be set varying targets for the percentage of services they have to expose to competition.
This is likely to take the form of concessions for county finance departments. Under current plans, these face having to tender core budget-setting functions because they do not have benefits and council tax collection to expose to competition.