Federal Contract Numbers

We all work with Federal contract numbers on the awards we manage, but may not understand the structure and content of these numbers. The Federal name for a contract number is a PII number (Procurement Instrument Identification number). The PII number is a 13 alpha-numeric character identifying each contract award. These 13 characters are separated into groupings of 6-2-1-4.

The first grouping of 6 characters is 1-4 capital letters identifying the issuing Federal department.

Department/Agency identification (partial listing):

  • Department of the Army – DA
  • Department of the Navy (except Marine Corps) – N
  • Department of the Air Force – F
  • Defense Informtion Systems Agency – DCA
  • Defense Logistics Agency – S
  • Marine Corps – M

These department identifiers are to be left-justified within the six characters. The remaining positions are to be filled as follows: The right-most of these six positions is a numeric identifier for the issuing office within the department. Use all six positions, that is, all vacant remaining positions between the department identifier and the issuing office identifier are to be filled with zeros.

Positions 7&8 are the last two digits of the year in which the PII was assigned.

Position 9 identifies the type of contract instrument as follows:

  • Blanket purchase agreements  – A
  • Invitation for bids – B
  • Contracts of all types except IDIQ, Facilities, Sales contracts or contracts with or through other Government departments or agencies or against contracts placed by such departments or agencies outside the DoD – C
  • Indefinite delivery contracts  – D
  • Facilities contracts – E
  • Basic Ordering Agreements – G
  • Agreements, including basic agreements and loan agreements, but excluding blanket purchase agreements, basic ordering agreements and leases – H

Position 9 identifies a type of instrument for each letter of the alphabet, but the remaining letters were omitted as they are rarely used, not to be used, or reserved. For a complete listing, see DFARS 204.7003.

Positions 10-13 are the sequential serial number of the instrument.

Thus an Air Force award, from the issuing office 10, assigned a PII number in fiscal 2012, for a basic ordering agreement action, that was the first action under this contract, would have a PII number of:


This article is an abridged version of the data to be found in DFARS 204.7003.