[holding answer 20 July 2006]: The Security Industry Authority (SIA) estimate that around 2,500 security firms in England and Wales are eligible to apply for Approved Contractor Status (ACS). Of these just over 200, or 8 per cent. have been granted Approved Contractor status since the scheme came into force on 20 March 2006. This means that at 3 July approximately 15,450 operatives may be legally deployed under licence dispensation. All firms approved to date have been authorised to use licence dispensation within specified limits and subject to ACS terms and conditions.