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Back  RFI # 248: Should in Not Used

Formal vs. Informal Help Informal Formal


Larry Watkins


In the front matter of all guides 'Not Used' is defined as 'This item should not be used when complying with this implementation guide'. Does the usage of the word 'should' rather than a word like 'must' within the definition imply any intent or grant that 'Not Used' items can be included at the sender's option or receiver's request?

Submitter Assigned Keywords

Should Must Not Used


It is the intent of the implementation guide authors that an item marked as NOT USED must not be sent. This prohibition is contained in the context of the explanation of “Not Used”. There is no statement that the item is sometimes used and sometimes not used. Also, the text specifically links compliance to the statement that the item is not to be sent. While there has been confusion over the interpretation of “should not be sent” for a situational data element, the guides intend for those items to be sent in specific circumstances, but not others. Therefore, in the past X12N TG8 felt that a reader might interpret “should not be sent” in the situational context to an advisory. No such interpretation can be applied to “Not Used”, because there are no times when the guides establish a situation when the item is to be sent.


Follow applicable guidance and use applicable acknowledgment transactions when rejecting a transaction that uses a data element marked “Not Used”. Such a rejection would constitute a rejection based on the X12 implementation guide syntax, and not based on X12 syntax. Therefore, a 997 Acknowledgment would not be appropriate for rejection.
Submission 4/25/2005
Status Date 5/16/2005
Status F - Final
Primary References
Document 004010X091A1
Set IDAll