Government cloud provider 4Data goes bust for the second time after $3.5 million bill to ATO

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Government cloud provider 4Data goes bust for the second time after $3.5 million bill to ATO

Canberra cloud provider 4Data has gone bust for the second time in as many years after its director was ordered to pay $3.5 million to the Australian Taxation Office.

The previous incarnation of Digital Digest Data Design (4Data) traded for 21 years before entering administration in May 2015, and was subsequently liquidated. The company pinned the collapse on the loss of key government contracts and a high staff turnover in the lead up to its administration.

In particular, 4Data blamed the decline of the previous business on a contract with the Department of Defence that accounted for a significant portion of the company's revenue and was not renewed.

Some of 4Data's assets were purchased by director Andrew Caudle for $35,000 plus GST and transferred to a related entity called 4D Hall 1. These assets included customer contracts and works in progress, IT equipment, telephone and fax numbers, internet accounts and the website.

The new company retained the 4Data name, and was listed as an approved cloud provider to the federal government this year.

However, 4Data Hall 1 faced a winding-up notice from the ATO in September that led to its liquidation. According to documents lodged with ASIC on 5 October, 4Data has close to $2 million in debts stemming from four unsecured creditors.

The collapse had followed a dispute with the ATO that was heard in the ACT Supreme Court on 17 and 18 July. Caudle was ordered to repay the ATO $3.5 million as part of two different proceedings in relation to debts of the former Digital Digest Data Design.

4Data continues to trade, offering managed services, backup and disaster recovery, cloud and IT support to "a broad cross-section of industries" in Canberra. Calls to the switchboard were answered, however, Caudle did not respond to CRN's enquiries.

The 4Data website is registered under Caudle's name with the same ABN as the liquidated 4Data Hall 1.

Administrators from Worrells told CRN that the winding-up process was ongoing and that the company was not in a position to comment at the time of publication

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