go through channels

go through (the proper) channels

To take the correct or accepted steps toward achieving some goal or outcome. I'm sorry, but we can't approve of this request because you didn't go through the proper channels. If you went through channels, then they have no reason to turn you away.
See also: channel, through

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, through

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, through