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Contract Advisory
Office of Operations
Bureau of Contracts

Advisory Number: 7
Advisory Name: Special Characters Should Not Be Used in Contract and Stand Alone Purchase Order Numbers
Date Issued: 12/13/2012 Date Last Updated: 12/13/2012
The only special characters which should be used in a Contract ID on the Statewide Financial System (SFS) are the two hyphens (-) that separate the Business Unit, Contract Number, and Department ID values. Stand alone purchase orders should not contain any special characters.

The Contract ID for all new contracts including but not limited to services, goods, leases, revenue, construction, grants, etc. in the SFS is composed of the agency’s Business Unit (5 alphanumeric characters), Contract Number (up to 10 alphanumeric characters) and Department ID (7 numeric characters). These three values are separated and identified by use of a hyphen (-) between the values. 

The Contract ID must include the two hyphens that separate the Business Unit and Department ID values from the Contract Number.  Special characters (e.g. %,#,@,*,>, etc.) should not be used in any other part of the Contract ID. 

When creating the Contract Number segment of the Contract ID, agencies can use up to a total of 10 alphanumeric characters, which must include the appropriate OSC designated contract prefix. No special characters should be used in the Contract Number.

Contract or stand alone purchase order transactions received at OSC for approval which contain special characters in the numbers (other than the two hyphens as identified above for contracts) will be returned to the agency non-approved.

Agencies should review all contract and stand alone purchase order transactions under their respective Business Units/Department IDs and correct any that have been set-up inappropriately with special characters in SFS. Correction of a contract transaction should follow the same procedure used for correcting approved contracts with Vendor ID errors provided in Contract Advisory #6 - Correcting Vendor ID on a Contract. OSC will monitor these contracts to ensure that payments are not made.

Change orders should be processed against inappropriately numbered stand alone purchase orders to cancel the transaction or reduce the total amount to equal the expenditures to date. A new stand alone purchase order should be reestablished on SFS for the unspent balance.

Guide to Financial Operations, Chapter XI, Procurement and Contract Management, Section 2.B.2 –Contract Numbers

Contract Advisory #6 – Correcting Vendor ID on a Contract

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