The Minister criticized the idea of a complete ban on foreign software

The need for total prohibition of public procurement of foreign software in Russia. This opinion was expressed to journalists by the head of the Ministry of communications Nikolay Nikiforov on the sidelines of the forum “RIF+KIB 2016”, told TASS. “I think there should be no such arbitrary decisions to deny and everything to paralyze. I think it is wrong, we should not enclose ourselves with barbed wire. But measures to support domestic companies, we must apply”, — said Nikiforov (quoted by the Agency “Prime”). They created the national registry BY the Minister of communications called “compromise (…) the support measure”.

The Ministry of economic development April 11, proposed to ban the use of foreign software (SW) and hardware in the information systems of state and municipal customers, reported the Agency with reference to the materials of the Ministry presented to the meeting of the subgroup “Internet Sovereignty”. This subgroup is part of the working group established for execution of orders of Russian President Vladimir Putin, which he gave at the forum “Internet economy”.

The Ministry proposes to introduce the concept of “corporate information system”, according to the presentation of Minekonomrazvitia, which was reviewed by RBC. Also, the Ministry has proposed to prohibit the purchase of foreign systems, as customers can now bypass the regulation, and together with the favor at the same time to purchase the software, the report said.

The economic development Ministry believe that the description of the procurement need to be brought under the description of domestic products, to establish requirements for subcontractors not to use foreign equipment and software, as well as to post information about the involvement of contractors in the unified information system in procurement. In addition, Minekonomrazvitija proposes to establish these rules in procurement for needs of defence and state security. This can be done in may-June 2016, according to the presentation.

Another suggestion is to create a Commission to audit the existing information systems of municipal and state procurement for possible import substitution. The Agency also proposes to establish uniform criteria for the definition of software and equipment originating from the territory of the countries of the Eurasian economic Union.

The number of contracts for the purchase of domestic software in 2015 increased almost doubled to 18.7 thousand ($21.9 billion rubles.) with 8.2 thousand a year earlier, according to the presentation. On the purchase of foreign software in 2015 was concluded 49,1 thousand contracts amounting to 72 billion rubles.

The initiative of Minekonomrazvitia can be implemented not earlier than in 5-10 years, said RBC President of Fund of information democracy, the head of the subgroup “Internet Sovereignty” Ilya Massukh. According to him, today in Russia, many infrastructure systems are based on Western software. And if to impose a ban right now, for example, government agencies such as Tax service or Pension Fund will not be able to function, said Massukh. If the state agencies to warn of an impending ban on foreign products and to introduce it in five years, during this time, departments will be able to find equivalents and to reorganize their systems, I’m sure Massukh. He believed that the proposal of economic development can only be distributed to government agencies, but not state corporations.

The representative of Minekonomrazvitija not responded to a request to RBC at the time of this writing.

In November 2015, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a government decree, which obliges state agencies from January 1 to validate the choice of the purchase of foreign programmes. In December with the participation of Vladimir Putin hosted the forum “Internet Economy”. According to its results, the President gave instructions to 16 different departments. Most of the orders period of performance is 1 June 2016. Responsible for the instruction of the Minister of economic development Alexei Ulyukayev, Minister of industry and trade Denis Manturov, head of technical and export control V. Selin and adviser to the President on the Internet Herman Klimenko and the Minister of communications Nikolay Nikiforov.