Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has signed a government order that lays out the groundwork for the transition of federal bodies and agencies to use free software, including Linux, by 2015.
The 25-point document (available here) outlines specific steps the government must take in order to move off proprietary software and onto free and/or open source alternatives like Linux. The government order was approved on December 17 and affects all federal agencies of the federal budget.
Each point of the document names the specific action that must be taken, the agency responsible for implementing that order, the time frame for implementation, and the expected result. For example, point #5 instructs Russia's Ministry of Communications to form, "the base package of free software solutions for typical problems of the federal executive bodies," with the expected result a free package of software that includes operating systems, drivers and application software for servers.
Order #5 calls for, "creating and maintaining a single repository of free software used in the federal bodies of executive power," while order #20 requires, "the development of departmental plans to move to the use of free software, including plans for transition of subordinate budget institutions." The final order, to be implemented in Q3 2015, calls for, "preparation of the draft orders of the Government of the Russian Federation on the adoption of a phased introduction of free software for the next planning period."
Russia has been moving in the direction of free software for the last few years. In 2008, the government ordered schools to implement free software packages in all of its computers. Schools that now want to use proprietary software have to pay for it out of their own pockets.