go through channels

go through (the proper) channels

to use the proper procedure, working through the correct people and offices to get something done; to cooperate with a bureaucracy. I'm sorry. I can't help you. You'll have to go through the proper channels. I didn't get what I wanted because I didn't go through channels.
See also: channel

go through channels

Use the correct procedure, especially in a hierarchy or bureaucracy. For example, You'll have to go through channels for approval of this expenditure. This term uses channel in the sense of "a conduit." [Mid-1900s]
See also: channel