This paper presents a method for the use of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and synchronized measurements for complete observability of a power system. Under normal operation, both Node Phasor Measurement Unit (NPMU) and SCADA measurements are optimally placed using integer programming and Genetic Algorithm (GA) respectively. The minimum condition number of the Jacobian matrix is used as a criteria in conjunction with GA to obtain a completely determined condition. Next, a triangular factorization approach is used to search for the necessary candidates for single branch outage and single/multiple measurement loss. These candidate measurements are optimized by the binary integer programming method. Numerical results on the IEEE test systems are demonstrated. The results clearly show the robustness of the method to obtain reliable measurements under both normal and contingency conditions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.