Moratorium on service delivery investment

A moratorium prevents government agencies investing in new service delivery projects unless they can get an exemption.

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What this moratorium does

The Australian Government has put a pause on its agencies investing in new service delivery projects.

The New Service Delivery Moratorium helps the government in the following ways:

  • it reduces the risk of users’ experience being fragmented across different services

  • it avoids services being duplicated

  • as a result it maximises efficiencies for government

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Our role

We manage the moratorium and help inform agencies about available whole-of-government technologies and services.

We provide advice to government agencies and suggest ways they can use new digital technologies. Get in touch with us to find out how we can help.

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What the moratorium covers

The moratorium applies to service delivery investments by Australian Government departments or agencies that are non-corporate Commonwealth entities.

It covers any investment where the department or agency will be responsible for, partly own, operate or fund the service.

For example, you can’t invest in the following new projects:

  • transactional services such as submitting a claim or lodging a tax return

  • information services such as new websites or virtual assistants

  • digital platforms such as digital identity, voice authentication, payments and tell-us-once functionality

  • face-to-face services such as setting up new shopfronts

  • phone services such as setting up new service centres and new phone service contracts

  • grant management systems and administration such as outsourcing or enhancing processes

Note that this is not a full list and is for guidance only. Each project or program will need to be assessed on its merits.

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What it doesn’t cover

The moratorium doesn’t cover investments in maintaining existing services.

For example, you can invest in projects like these:

  • minor upgrades and maintenance to digital services

  • shopfront renewals

  • consolidations or extensions of existing contracts to phone services

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Agencies can ask for exemptions from the moratorium in some situations.

For example, you may be able to invest in projects like these:

  • you’re moving an existing face-to-face presence without expanding its footprint

  • you’re setting up a mobile or temporary shopfront

  • the service delivery is outside Australia (such as a visa office)

  • an Australian Government agency provides the service with state and territory agencies

Agencies can also ask for exemptions in the following situations:

  • the Cabinet or Prime Minister has approved the investment and its funding

  • the investment is in response to an emergency or critical unforeseen event such as a natural disasters or security provision

  • the investment was funded before or through the 2015-16 Budget process

Note that these are not full lists and are for guidance only. Each project or program will need to be assessed on its merits.

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How to apply for an exemption

If you want an exemption you’ll need to first read the information on this page about the moratorium, complete the Service Investment Moratorium Request Form and send it back to us. 

We’ll need to assess the details of each investment because of the different categories and services that may qualify for an exemption.    

We’ll do this by looking at the request, the proposed service, the funding and any other information. This will help us decide if the moratorium covers the service or if an exemption might apply.

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What to do if you’re not granted an exemption

If you’re not granted an exemption you can apply for one by agreement of ministers.

Your minister can then write to the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation to ask for an exemption.

You’ll need to get in touch with us to talk about this process and find out how to go about it.

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Get in touch

If you have any questions you can get in touch with us at