red tape is an expression that arose from a technological innovation. The red tape directly refering to the leader tape found in many reel to reel tape recorders and small compact cassetes. As there can be no sound recorded on this portion of the tape it was considered frustrating and often likened to bureaucracy when one had to wait for the end of the red tape to hear what was recorded on the tape Hence The expression red tape and or cut through the red tape or cut to the chase
All that bureaucracy, its just red tape they could proceed so much faster if they wanted. Cut through the red tape
When your boss hates your guts or envies your smarts that he requires you to go through an oppressively time-consuming sequence of procedures before you can get approval to do something, especially when you are filing for a vacation leave.
My boss sent me through a whole-day worth of red tape to get approval on a half-day vacation.