New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany, is in final contract negotiations with a new consultant, which was not identified. Incumbent William M. Mercers contract with the $112 billion fund expired June 30, said Maureen Kipper, special investment officer; she did not say if Mercer was among the finalists. The system hopes to have a new general consultant in place by Jan. 1, she said. Standard state contracts are for five years, Ms. Kipper added, but she was unsure of the duration of the new consultants contract. A fund spokesman did not respond to requests for more information.