Previously Adjudicated Adverse Information is Still Fair Game

Many security clearance applicants mistakenly believe that previously adjudicated adverse information does not have to be disclosed or is not open to review when undergoing subsequent background investigations. But there’s no such thing as security clearance “double jeopardy;” just because something didn’t affect your investigation in the past, doesn’t mean it can’t affect it in the future. Read more here…


Thank you so much for teaching people! It has to be listed!

1 Like

Agreed. This is great information.

I recently finished reading a book on the Ana Montes investigation (1996-2001). A lot of previously adjudicated adverse information was overlooked, yet used in the aggregate during the decision in her 2001 arrest.

What if it denied under CIA and friends with the same actions are cleared under DoD? I thought DoD was less strict and would maybe also consider the “whole person concept” whereas a friends’ case with CIA is shocking at how horrible they made high school drug use sound when denying the clearance of a 35 year old with nothing in his recent past.

You only know what your friends tell you, which may simply not be the entire truth.


Agree. Not everyone is 100% candor about stuffs and certain information do sound better with creative storytelling.

I believe that ANY information is legitimate fodder for current investigations. Think about it: Circumstances change over the years. Additional information about the previous issue can come to light. In some cases, concern over certain issues can grow, lessen or simply change over time.

Without more specifics, we really can’t even come close to answering your question.

This is another “it depends” scenario. Past issues will haunt you when you have similar behavior or issues occur after the initial adjudication. Also, getting a more sensitive clearance will cause older issues to be revisited.

In general, the original adjudication stands if an issue was adjudicated for a national security position and there has been no additional issue behavior since the previous investigation. .