The French government has published a call for tender for a 2 million euro contract to support Debian and CentOS systems throughout the French public administration. The news is a month old, but the call for bids is open until 9 January 2012.

There is more coverage on a EC blog post as well as on Le Monde Informatique (in French).

"Customers" of the bid winner will be almost all ministries of the French administration --- from prime minister to justice, from defense to sports, from education to culture --- for a 3-year period. The call requires ability to support most of the "usual suspects" among popular FOSS applications, but explicitly focuses on Debian and CentOS as distributions.

It is by far not the first time it has happened, but it is always great for me to see major public administrations choosing community based distros (and Debian in particular :-P ).